Seoul, South Korea
Our plan for a new shopping center bridges across two often conflicting approaches: connecting to the urban context and creating an immersive experience for visitors. It is important to connect to the city in multiple ways, across multiple scales. We start by filling the block, as in a typical, dense urban neighborhood. We cut paths through the site. The block offers routes, to pass through the site in different ways with different experiences. This is a familiar urban approach. To enable an experience of discovery a degree of fantasy we want the new development to generate excitement and energy of its own, too. On the scale of the block, we create the sense of a micro city. Within this block there is variation, a unique way to circulate and expose oneself to activities. We take the symbol for infinity, never ending, always more. This symbol implies a movement that never ends and which crosses its path,making a connection, as it moves. We overlay this form as circulation on our urban block. It offers unexpected connections, discoveries, social interaction, and events. The new circulation path is a looping ramp that connects all of the resulting buildings, at different floors. It is not just a path, however. It is populated with small, unique stores that draw people’s attention as they pass through, exposing them to interesting shops, refreshments, etc. The ramp shapes the buildings around it, retaining the building density, opening up landscaped courtyards in each loop. We have a novel configuration of a large block, and it is specifically designed to offer maximum urban experience.