A new river transportation hub is being created on the Han River in Seoul by a team including Urban Agency
Designed by a team including Urban Agency, Schlaich Bergermann & Partner and CK Marina the new marina proposal for Yeouinaru Ferry Terminal, positioned above the undulating Han River in Seoul, South Korea, presents a smart typological transformation. The simple bar is transformed into a ‘knotted’ three-dimensional platform that suggests lightness and pure form in relation to the efficiency in maintenance and structural safety of vessels. Continuously connected wooden surfaces made out of the 3D folded configuration gives an impression of the user’s intimacy and connectivity – blurring the line between outside waterfront and inside terminal facilities.
Bar type marinas are efficient in the maintenance and structural safety of vessels and have a structure that supports the stable anchoring and management of ships with different sizes and usages. Hence, considering the efficiency and safety in the design, the bar type platform is positioned to sit on an east-west orientation to conform with the flow velocity of the river. Pier’s orientation and shape not only alleviates the risk of debris built-up, frequently occurring during monsoon season, by allowing it to flow naturally down river but also it protects the smaller anchored vessels by maintaining a constant wave height around the ferry terminal. This east-west configuration also allows the ferry terminal to cope with the future expansion of the marina. The building footprint and overall structure are designed to be flexibly extendable based on the orientation.
Neighbouring a river park, international business district and a parliament of Korea, Yeouinaru Ferry Terminal is to be an important hub of tourism and civic public space, thus, the proposal can be seen as both an opportunity to design innovative architecture, as well as an opportunity to rethink the latent potential of public spaces adjacent to water; questioning how can the urban stream be embraced in architectural projects as an agent of civic commonality and everyday urban experiences.
In order to bring outdoor activity and urban leisure facilities to the Marina in Han River, a pier deck overlooking the spectacular river scenery is utilised to host small concerts and events, allowing visitors to program the unique water-friendly urban public space as they wish. As opposed to the existing concrete shore, the new floating terminal and pier deck create various functions and connections to the water with a sense of intimacy throughout; the ‘platform’, where users can wait for ferries, the ‘promenade’ is the perfect place to take a walk and chat under the summer night sky with family and friends, and finally the ‘amphitheater’, here the ferry terminal becomes the main cultural attraction. Aside from the functional aspects, the pier deck and whole building form are aesthetically integrated to create wooden strips over the water. All of this shapes an iconic view of Han River that can be seen from a multitude of angles and vantage points such as Han River Park, Mapo Bridge Park and Wonhyo Bridge, meaning the terminal architecture becomes a trope for a new way of showcasing the theatrical scenery of Seoul.