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MVRDV wins competition to design Tancheon Valley project on Seoul waterfront

December 12, 2019

Dutch firm MVRDV has won the competition to redesign the Tancheon Valley and Seoul’s waterfront. Called “The Weaves”, the concept aims to knit together pedestrian and bicycle paths, the natural landscapes, and public amenities. Commissioned by the government of Seoul, the project introduces a combination of natural and human activity in the midst of the city.

The project is located between Seoul’s former Olympic Stadium in the Jamsil district and the central business district in Gangnam. Transforming both the waterfront of the Tancheon River and the Han River, the central concept aims to intertwine three aspects of the landscape: natural ecosystems, access for pedestrians, and community spaces where public activities can take place.

“Seoul is taking amazing steps to transform grey and obsolete infrastructure into lively green and social spaces. The Weaves is a design that introduces natural landscape combined with exceptional, varied access. It also responds to the local identity. Jamsil is known for its history of silk production and the design recalls the tangled silk threads of its past in a unique and playful way. It becomes an intertwining poem where movement becomes landscape poetry.” – Winy Maas, Founding Partner, MVRDV

The MVRDV explains the concept: “The first step in this plan was to return the river to a more naturalistic state, replacing hard landscaping with lush green riverbanks, and changing the river from a straight canal to a meandering stream. The second part is the development of a network of winding interconnected paths that allow easy pedestrian access throughout the waterfront, creating opportunities for visitors to encounter the natural ecology in a variety of ways. The third element of the design, the park’s public programme, mixes with paths knotting themselves into a plaza, rising above the landscape to form a viewing point, an amphitheatre, or forming the roof for cafés and other amenities.”

A central aspect of the project is a pedestrian bridge connecting the Gangnam district to the Olympic Park. A network of paths rises up from the river below to form a crossing that incorporates a viewing platform and a media floor.

The Weaves was completed with NOW Architect as the architect of record and Seoahn Total Landscape Architecture. Construction is expected to begin in 2021, with completion planned for 2024.

Renderings courtesy: MVRDV

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