MAC Open Space

M.A.C., South Korea
Competition Entry

Reacting to the overcrowding of Seoul and the need for a more geographically centralized government, South Korea initiated design and construction of a new city with government administration at its core located two hours south of Seoul. The basis of the competition was the design of a 12sq kilometer open space devoted primarily to park uses, but also housing major cultural institutions such as a design museum, performing arts complex, modern art museum, residential and commercial programs.

We began our investigation with the premise that the cultural institutions would be park ‘energizers’. Rather than spreading them throughout the site at equal distances, we believed that if placed closely together and centralized, their proximity would act as a programmatic vitalizer.

Located on crossing axes that connect site features, the cultural hub becomes the active center of the park. The north/south axis links an off-site folk village and the sports complex. The east/west axis connects the city to an amphitheater that we added to the program requirements to draw visitors to the center of the site. As well as being an active destination, the hub’s placement on the edge of the site forms a gateway between city and open space.

We use the existing grid of the remnant rice fields as pedestrian circulation grid. They become the boundaries within which differing program will be implemented over a planned phasing of 20 years. At each intersection one encounters a unique programmatic condition, standing at the point of convergence of diverse uses such as sports field, forest, windfarm and rose garden (a-la the OMA strategy for their Parc de la Villette entry in of 1982). Other uses include formal gardens, playgrounds, ice rinks, solar energy fields, rice fields, wetlands, running paths, water reclamation sites, etc.

The park is poised to evolve, similar to a city. Over time, uses differentiate and the program size and arrangement will invariably change to meet necessity or desire. The project will not lie as a static formal construction within a bustling city, but rather as an evolving counterpoint to ideological and literal development.

Performed while a partner at Studio Shift
Landscape Architect – SWA Group, Los Angeles