CITY²

urban expansion through technology, tourism and landscape

 
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Summary

  • From smartphones, smart homes, to smart cars, mobile technology is breaking the boundaries of various parts of people’s lives. The mixture of work, leisure, and travelling is one of the most prominent changes brought by the technology. However, architecture has not kept up with this fast-paced innovation, and these parts are still separate in built spaces.
  • The government complex in Sejong City, South Korea was designed with the intention to break these boundaries. This new city built in 2010 aims to be the nation's administrative capital. However, people are moving out due to lack of urban life. 
  • City² proposes a new landscape that utilizes the new transportation technology and the new type of tourism to form a network with other cities and to infiltrate an existing environment.
  • The topographic units grow out from the Hyperloop train station introduced into an empty ground within the existing government complex at Sejong City.
  • The units reach out to the government complex, forming a network of spaces that infiltrates into the government building.
  • This network introduces a new dimension of meditative tourism and landscape into the originally stale work spaces.
  • It reclaims the public spaces taken away from the public by connecting the ground to the roof garden, and overlays the primitive footpath and the hyper speed transportation to bring the workers and the non-workers together in the new administrative capital. 

Site Section

1/2 Site Section, enlarged

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Detail Section

Research & Site Study

  • Technology

From smartphones, smart homes, to smart cars, mobile technology is breaking the boundaries various parts of people’s lives. The mixture of work, leisure, and travelling is one of the most prominent changes brought by the technology. Short term rentals such as Airbnb challenge the boundary of public and private spaces. New start-up firms like Roam are testing the boundaries between work, travel, and life, by offering co-living and co-working in vacation spots. However, architecture has not kept up with such technological advancements, and these parts are still separate in built spaces. I am proposing to infiltrate an existing site where there was an effort to design this mixed life, but the effort is failing.

 

  • South Korea

The abundance of mobile technology stimulated a unique growth of tourism in S. Korea, such as Pilgrimage. People walk or bike to cross the land of the country, to disconnect with society for a short term and to reconnect with themselves and with nature. The experience and the path they take are shared on the internet, and others are motivated to take the solitary trip themselves.

 

  • Sejong City

Sejong City is a new city built in 2010 at the center of the country. The city was initially planned as the new capital mainly due to politics, but the closeness of Seoul to North Korea has been stimulating a constant discussion about transferring the capital further down. It ended up being just the Administrative Capital, with major departments such as the Ministry of defense and president’s office remaining in Seoul. Like Brasilia, it has failed in some ways. The residents are mostly young workers with families, while other age groups who want city life are resisting to move to the city from Seoul. The introduction of a Hyperloop in the future will only help to increase vacancy. Therefore, the goal of the proposal is to get them to stay as well as bring others into the city by providing an additional city that will grow onto the government complex.

 

  • The Government Complex

The Government Complex was a lot of investment, the most expensive government building in the country. Around 16,000 workers and 10,000 reside nearby with their families. Covers about 12 blocks of NYC in scale, but the public square within the shape of the complex is left empty both during the day and at night. Criticizing CIAM’s approach of clearly organized cities, Balmori Associates designed this building to have linked programs within the site, by providing:

1) A public roof garden that unifies all departments and ministries

2) Thresholds that welcome people into the complex

3) An architecture that blends in with the landscape

4) Low building height to imply a humble government.

It promised a non-authoritative government building that can provide a mixture of work, leisure and a city life within. However, the roof garden is no longer a public space. The facade, fences, and security control booths reinforce the separation between the government and the people. A worker has already killed herself from stress, and there are no places to rest inside. And it is an outdated idea to relate building height and social hierarchy; the relationship between a democratic government and the people should be expressed with the accessibility of public into the building.