Redeveloping Seoul's largest market for the 21st century
Designed nearly a quarter of a century ago, the Garak market was the first public wholesale market in Korea and with an area of 543,451 sq m, is the centre of trade for fruit, vegetables and meats in Seoul. However, it has been criticised for its ever-present traffic congestion and inefficient logistics system, both of which the redevelopment project aims to tackle.
To realise a state-of-the-art, 21st century marketplace environment, the design solution focused on creating duality and ambivalence at two distinctive zones – wholesale and retail. A key part of the design is transforming the roof of the market into a giant 131-acre park that encourages recreational, sports and cultural activities. The sinuous U-shaped landscape not only provides a flexible public space but also creates a continuous pedestrian path along the east-west axis.
The redevelopment plan of the market will begin by focusing on constructing space-efficient, multi-tasking facilities equipped with a control center which will allow Garak Market to transform into a more cost-effective wholesale market. By expanding the needed facilities and establishing more sophisticated supply systems, it will transform into an optimised, modernised market for logistics and distribution.
As a 21st century market with focus on eco-friendliness and sustainability, underground waste treatment facilities as well as solar power and renewable energy will be installed to reduce the carbon footprint. Developments of parks, gyms, and market squares for locals will enhance the relationship with the local community while various cultural facilities including agricultural distribution museum and tradition food quarters will be created as tourist attractions within Seoul.
The construction period is scheduled to last 11 years - from 2009 to 2020. In order not to disturb daily trade during the redevelopment process, the construction will be divided into 3 separate phases.