West 8 wins Yongsan Park competition in Seoul

West 8 has won International Competition for Master Plan of Yongsan Park, Korea. On the 23 April, the organizer of the competition, the Ministry of Land, Transport and Maritime Affairs of the Republic of Korea announced the exciting news.

The project site is a large area in the centre of Seoul with a total area of circa 243 ha that has been in use as a military base for an extensive period both during the Japanese occupation and under post-War American protection. The vision of the competition, as described in the brief, is to create a park in which nature, culture, history and the future are in harmony. It will be a park which restores, sublimates, and expands upon the history and local characteristics of the area. This park shall regain the respect for nature and reclaims the lost and damaged ecological system. It will eventually become a park of new urban culture for the preservation of green spaces and a sustainable future

The new Master Plan for Yongsan National Park proposed by West 8 + IROJE has been developed through an interactive process that has consistently returned to the fundamental concept of healing. The act of healing is a process that transforms the existing site through an awareness of its history into a world-class park that inspires illusions of nature, ecological restoration and a wide ranging urban park culture. Continue reading

SOM Wins Master Plan Competition for Beijing Bohai Innovation City

From bustler – of particular interest is the relationship of the site to the high speed rail links and to the ecological systems of Turenscapes central wetland park, both critical for the success of the project if it is to fulfill its design intent.

In an international design competiton for the rapid development of satellite cities along Chinese high speed rail corridors, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill‘s Beijing Bohai Innovation City master plan has just been named the winning submission.

Aerial view of SOM's competition-winning Beijing Bohai Innovation City master plan (Image: SOM)

Click above image to view slideshow
Aerial view of SOM’s competition-winning Beijing Bohai Innovation City master plan (Image: SOM)

Project Description from the Architects:

The winning SOM plan leverages the economic and lifestyle assets of the Beijing-Tianjin corridor by centering the new environmentally friendly district along the high-speed-rail line linking the national capital to the port city of Tianjin. The city expansion will host 17.6 million square meters of mixed-use development, with a focus on providing a premier headquarters location for advanced industries in the dynamically growing Bohai Rim, a region that already accounts for more than a quarter of China’s GDP. Continue reading

Nature as Infrastructure- An Interview with Kongjian Yu

An architecture report from Domus by Ethel Baraona Pohl

Turenscape’s founder Kongjian Yu demonstrates how nature can be a cost-free service provider in an urban context. Ecology is a synonym of economy

The cross-disciplinary project is an urban stormwater park and a national nature reserve. It filters storm water from the city and protects against flooding. The new urban district of Qunli New Town was zoned with only 16.4% of developable land as permeable green space

Ethel Baraona: Let’s talk about the close relationship you have with natural environments. Where does this interest come from?
Kongjian Yu In Chinese tu means dirt, earth and ren means people, man. So, Turenscape means “people from the land”, the wonderful metaphor behind our name is that we are “the land and the people”. I come from a rural area and grew up with people who lived there for decades, which gave me a true sense of nature. I started Turenscape with my wife and a friend. One of our first projects began in 2000. We finished it in 2002. Suddenly it became really famous. People were admiring projects they never had seen before in China.

A network of walkways is built into the pond-andmound ring allowing visitors to observe the wetland, which Turenscape planted with native marsh grasses and silver birch trees. Platforms and viewing towers lend panoramic views of the surroundings

Is ecology part of an economical system?
That is a key point. Economy means ecology. Nature has no waste. If species can’t have minimum energy to survive, they die. So, nature is economy. We should consider the city as an organism and parks should provide all these services. At the same time this project is very economic. We used a very simple cut-and-fill system on the ring with a minimum cost. We built the sky-walk, a kind of jungle inside the park, with wood, bamboo, stone: all local materials. And it is important as a social node too.

Read the full interview

Read other posts on Turenscape and Konjian Yu
Terragrams -delivering the landscape

The Conscientizacao of the Landscape: An Interview with Kongjian Yu

MRDC| Turenscape: THE RESILIENT RIVER – Beautiful Renderings

Although not winners in this competition, The  Minneapolis Riverfront Design competition was won by Tom Leader|KVA see earlier post here my own favorite was the design by Turenscape led by Dr Kongjian Yu of Beijing University and I thought it worthwhile sharing this design with all of you who might not have seen it elsewhere.  Reposted from World Landscape Architecture

Our design approach celebrates the Resilient River; we believe in the power of nature to heal, and the relevance of the River in the life of the people of Minneapolis. We take the long view, and see that changes in industry along the banks have happened before, driven by the market but also by the guiding hand of public policy and the aspirations of the River’s citizens. While we recognize the role of industry, and in many cases are enthralled by the scale of its work along the banks, we also remain steadfast in our belief that this landscape is worthy of respect, even reverence, and protection from harm. Our purpose then is to aid in healing the riverfront as a place of critical ecological importance, as well as a place for working and living. Where the River has been an excuse for dividing neighborhoods and peoples, we desire a place where people can come together. We concur with the view that parks can create new value on adjacent lands, but also propose that a new ecology of parks is necessary that makes productive use of the rich riverfront lands and waters, as well as the people on its shores.”

View a video of the design here TURENSCAPE
Continue reading