Design update Sewoon Grounds in Seoul

KCAP updated the design for the Sewoon Grounds project in Seoul, South Korea. The redevelopment project aims to transform Sewoon District #4 into a sustainable mixed-use area including offices, retail, and urban industry. The design proposes a dynamic multi-dimensional district that enhances the urban quality and provides harmonic integration with the unique historical context.

In 2017, KCAP won the international design competition regarding the transformation of Seoul's 'Sewoon District #4', an area characterised by its cultural heritage, urban industry and the existing historical structures.

The design proposal focusses on a subtle integration of the building mass in the surrounding context, good modulation, and accessibility to create flexible combinations of units. It fosters an active connection to the preexistence. So it responds to future demands and generates lasting place-making by preserving historic traces and buildings, like the neighbouring mixed-use complex 'Sewoon Sangga (Arcade)', a testimonial of modern Korean architecture by prominent architect Kim Swoo-geun, built between 1967-1972.

The design strategies include the re-creation of the 'Seoul grid' deriving from the existing street network as a unique urban development method. The exhibition of the archaeological relics on the basement level, a ‘Memory Ground‘, promotes the harmonious coexistence of the past and present. To encourage a sustainable development of the urban industrial eco-system, supporting anchor activities are located throughout the building. The ‘Breeding Ground’ acts as a platform for urban industry and is connected to the Sewoon Arcade. The ‘Flying Ground’ at the top adds new program and will be related to the Sewoon Roof. The ‘Sky Ground’ is added by the design update to secure the public view towards Jongmyo UNESCO heritage.

As associate partner at KCAP, Hyeri Park, emphasizes: ‘With Sewoon Grounds, we want to balance between history and future, urban industry and urban creative lives, massing and open spaces. Our design update could evolve a demolition-based redevelopment into regeneration and urban transformation with the least social risk at the same time to make a maximum public benefit. This porous publicly stacked urban agglomeration, which we call ‘Sewoon Grounds’ will create new urban quality based on the old and existing values. We designed an urban grounds, not just a building.’

Thanks to the connection of the multi-layered urban context in a three-dimensional way, the proposal offers a dynamic multi-dimensional city vertically accumulated in space and time. Sewoon Grounds respects the cultural heritage while developing a people-oriented urban design that stimulates urban craftsmanship in Seoul.

Client Seoul Housing & Communities corporation

Program 312.500 m2 mixed program including office, studio apartments, retail, parking, cultural preservation exhibition, and urban industry

Local Partner Architects Architects Office S.A.A.I. (Competition phase 2017); Junglim Architecture, Architects Office S.A.A.I. (1st phase schematic design 2018), Heerim Architects & Planners, SPACE Group (2nd phase schematic design 2021)