5+ design provides new public area in Dragon Valley Retail District, Seoul
The Dragon Valley Retail District, planned by 5+design, provides an inviting public environment filled with outdoor gathering places, shops and entertainment at the centre of the Yongsan International Business District (IBD). The ambitious 34 million sq ft, mixed-use district in Seoul is being developed by Dreamhub. “The design carves a canyon into the district to create an uninterrupted, subterranean, pedestrian thoroughfare from the Yongsan Train Station to the Han River,” said 5+design partner Michael Ellis. “With its diversity of environments and offerings, its sense of scale and connection, Dragon Valley balances the iconic singularity and verticality of the overall district.”
Masterplanned by architect Daniel Libeskind, the Yongsan IBD encompasses ten city blocks and includes a collection of high-rise residences and commercial buildings designed by a host of renowned international architects. The skyscraper-filled district is organised into neighbourhoods centered around and connected by an urban public space animated by retail, entertainment and leisure - Dragon Valley Retail District. The underground city of retail, restaurants and commercial spaces is presented as individual districts of distinct character linked with lushly landscaped gardens and fountains and a network pedestrian-friendly passageways.
“While the most impressive image of the Yongsan IBD may be its incredible high-rise skyline, the project will be truly experienced by the public at the ground plan and within the below-grade shops and restaurants of the Dragon Valley,” said Tim Magill, the 5+design partner responsible for the design of the project. “In order to navigate such a huge project, the design is divided into a series of unique districts, accessed by a hierarchy of outdoor arcades, indoor malls and courts, to create a memorable,human scale.”
Dragon Valley Retail District comprises three main areas - Platinum Street Collection, University Department Store Zone and Sports Active Life District - all surrounding a dramatic 10,000 sq m sunken garden of lush landscape, water features, outdoor restaurants, amphitheaters and public gathering areas. Each district is expressed as clusters of buildings nested together with individual facades that give identity and distinction. The eclectic hill town character of the district, with both contemporary and traditional buildings integrated into a dramatic vertical landscape, invites exploration.