Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Town of the Rings - New Self-Sustainable Town in Korea

Surrounded by a picturesque lake and forested hills, Korea is set to create a sustainable township which will be a self sufficient city of 77,000 inhabitants, to be located about 22 miles (35 kilometers) south of Seoul, South Korea. Called Gwanggyo, all elements of the new town will be designed as rings so that each part of the program has a terrace for outdoor life.

Expected to be completed by 2011, the architectural design consists of a series of overgrown hill shaped buildings to target high urban density and further developments around the Gwanggyo Power Center, one of the two envisioned centers of the future new town.

“This diverse program has different needs for phasing, positioning and size.” say Dutch architects MVRDV, who won the competition for the Gwanggyo City Centre.

“To facilitate this all elements are designed as rings. By pushing these rings outwards, every part of the program receives a terrace for outdoor life.”

As a result, a landscape is created that resembles a series of overgrown green ‘hills.’

The Korean township promotes a healthy living space with plantations around the terraces with a floor to floor circulation system that stores water and irrigates the plants. The roofs and terraces are planted with box hedges creating a vertical park which will improve the climate and ventilation, reduce energy and water usage.

Atriums within each tower create lobbies for housing and offices, retail plazas for the shopping centre, halls for the museum, leisure areas and education spaces.

The shifting of the floors creates hollow cores that form the large atriums. In each tower a series of ‘voids’ connect to the atrium to provide light and ventilation, creating semi-public spaces.

The atriums are connected on the lower floors through a string of public spaces on various levels, linking the towers and serving the outdoor facilities of the culture, retail, and leisure program.

Local nodes with a high density concentration of mixed program have been used in Korean town planning since the beginning of the millennium.

Surrounded by a lake and hilly woodland, the scenic design of the new city center aims to create a unique landscape that enlarges the green qualities and surrounding parks by turning the site into a park.

Sources: Dezeen and MVRDV


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