Henning Larsen has shared winning design for Seoul Valley, a 360,600 square meters development located in the center of Seoul. Combining office, retail, hotel, and residential program within a sprawling public podium, our aim is to bring renewed urban life and greenery to the center of Seoul. Prominently located immediately adjacent to the capital's main station, Seoul Valley sets a standard for the city's regeneration campaign foregrounded in the pedestrian experience. The Valley's three large towers subdivide into smaller masses to reduce the sense of scale and create community between the spaces at ground level. The ‘ground’ level is spread over multiple, with gardens, terraces, and courtyards defining the spaces in between the shops, cafes, and restaurants.
Ringed by mountains and characterized by a patchwork of hills and valleys, the geography of Seoul is largely uneven, save for a spine of level ground that runs through the city’s north-south axis. Seoul Valley is located in the flat center, sandwiched between the sprawling rail yards of Seoul Station and an 8- lane freeway leading to the city’s central Jung-gu District. Though centrally-located, infrastructural barriers have long isolated the long-empty 28,600 m² site from its surroundings.
Design for Seoul Valley aims to bring a village-like atmosphere to the heart of development, merging the scale of the city and the more comfortable scale of neighborhoods.
Seoul Valley employs an ‘inside out’ retail scheme that prioritizes visitor experience over sheer commercial frontage. Rather than create maze-like double loaded corridors, retail modules are dispersed throughout the site, allowing visitors their choice of journey. In particular, Valley acts as an urban shortcut between the main station, Seoullo 7017 Skygarden and Seosomun Park. This outdoor passage allows access to restaurants and views into the shopping areas, attracting passersby who were not necessarily interested in or planning to enter a mall.
The project will enter the Schematic Design phase in the spring of 2021.