Nodeul Madang

location Seoul, South Korea
date 2016
client Seoul Metropolitan Government
program cultural and commercial
surface 15000 m²
status competition, honorable mention
design team Studio Akkerhuis with AVA and Spacetong / ArchiWorkshop
consultants Après la pluie, Buro Happold, Theatre Projects Consultants

To create an oasis of culture and music, surrounded by nature and in the centre of one of the largest and most vibrant cities in the world, seems like a dream impossible to chase. The people of Seoul have this dream and we believe it is a very strong and viable one, one that can become reality. Together with its citizens the municipality has started to pave the way for this ambitious and unique project to take off. Our proposal continues to build on these solid foundations, to construct that dream, together with the people of Seoul and for its future generations.

First, Nodeul Island needs to become a thriving place. Our proposal takes cues on which successful communities are founded: diversity, identity and flexibility are important keywords. We create a central piazza, intimate courtyards and a network of paths and walkways to connect the pavilion-like structures. Firmly set in nature, these pavilions themselves are providing a framework that the users of Nodeul Island can make their own.

Secondly we need to embed Nodeul Island in the heart of city life. With a rich program, spanning all seasons, varying from large festivals to smaller gatherings, the Nodeul Island draws people across all age groups and from all backgrounds of life. We envisage communal spaces, intimate courtyards and winter gardens, intelligent and efficient spaces that protect against the harsh climate throughout all seasons. With a maximum adaptability this will be a place to meet and to share, to socialize and to participate; a place for people to develop the vibrant life of the Nodeul community.

Thirdly, Nodeul Island is currently an island of two halves, divided by one of the major arteries of Seoul’s busy road network. We start to look at the island from a different perspective. We propose a bridge, not only to connect the two sides of this road, but also to connect the whole island. This promenade is spanning from the green floodplains in the east, through the courtyards and piazzas along the pavilions, past the main auditorium and over the road to arrive in a green haven: the forest on the east side of the Island. To enhance this connection we continue the landscaping from east to west by planting as many trees as possible along and in between the roads. Instead of the road crossing the island, it will be the island crossing the road.