ben van berkel’s UNStudio has been selected to develop a vast 32-tower masterplan in south korea.
the scheme, which has been designed in collaboration with heerim architects, has been conceived for the eunma housing development in seoul’s daechi-dong neighborhood. as part of the plans, existing homes will be transformed into a ‘future orientated eco design’, seen as a blueprint for resident-driven projects.
UNStudio and heerim’s design involves the entire transformation of more than a million square meters. the residential masterplan will include the addition of more than 1,500 apartments to the 4,424 currently on site. to enable this, existing 35 storey high-rises will be replaced with 50 storey towers. this is intended to allow current home owners to have state-of-the-art apartments and amenities, thus facilitating a new ‘eco landscape’ throughout the development.
the architects have implemented a ‘live, work and play’ philosophy born out of a study of choreographed movement across the site. six themed gardens help define each neighborhood block, while a multi-level ground floor forms the base of all addresses within the integrated development. ‘designing a scheme for a resident-driven development is particularly interesting because you are responding directly to the needs of an established community,’ explains ben van berkel. ‘they know the strengths and requirements of the area and how they want to see their community develop. this local knowledge is invaluable to the design.’
the vast residential scheme follows an urban model that involves maximizing daylight and reducing direct views into neighboring apartments. the site is divided into four circular themed zones and six landscape quadrants, a layout that results in 24 individual neighborhoods that provide a series of enriched experiences and visual attractions. lively streets are located on two sides of the site boundary, with two main underground connections to nearby metro stations.
the scheme is accessible for the surrounding neighborhood, with sightlines from adjacent streets directed towards the heart of the site. educational centers and libraries are positioned around the family and community blocks, while sports and recreation facilities are clustered around the high-rises intended to house young professionals. six ‘iconic’ towers are positioned at the center of the site, catering to lifestyles that place an emphasis on art, culture, and health. in addition, retail, food, and leisure outlets are also provided in order to strengthen the development’s urban life.
each high-rise provides residents with natural light and ventilation, ensuring a comfortable and healthy living environment. spacious entrances welcome both residents and guests, while elevators service two apartments per floor. in order to evoke a sense of community, all apartment towers have semi-public spaces such as sky-gardens and club areas. meanwhile, to increase the feeling of safety, all car traffic takes place underground — beneath the landscaped areas above.