Mecenatpolis completes in South Korea

Sculptural urban design elements animate mixed-use development in Seoul

by Sian 10 October 2012 Urban design
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    Mecenatpolis, a nearly 300,000 sq m mixed-use, transit-oriented project in the evolving Hapjeong neighbourhood in downtown Seoul, is the latest Jerde Place to open in Asia. The firm’s latest mixed-use district sits adjacent to the Hapjeong train station and provides a dynamic, cohesive gathering place for the resurging neighbourhood’s diverse community of business professionals, residents, university students, and tourists.

    Developed by GS Engineering & Construction Corp, Sejin, the 295,615 sq m Mecenatpolis features three high-rise luxury residential towers and one high-rise class-A office tower above the Jerde-designed open-air mixed-use public realm with retail, dining and vibrant communal spaces. The project’s towers were executed by local Korea firm EAWES.

    Anchoring the soaring landmark towers, and providing a new social destination for people is an open-air village comprising nearly 90,000 sq m of retail and dining, as well as an events auditorium and public park for recreational and cultural activities where visitors and residents can gather and engage.

    The park will serve as an outdoor garden where sculptures from local students will be displayed. Terraced balconies, glass bridges, landscaped roof gardens, open-air spaces, mesmerizing water features and a grand central plaza all reinforce the idea of a fluid and choreographed circulation system at the core of the retail complex. The high-rise towers include over 160,000 sq m of luxury housing units and nearly 50,000 sq m of creative office space.

    “We were very thoughtful during the design process about how to successfully integrate the project into the existing urban fabric. The organic design evolved by reinforcing key connections through the site from the station to the surrounding neighbourhoods, creating a fluid pedestrian experience within the retail, while making the best use of the location in this emerging neighbourhood and next to one of Seoul’s busiest transportation hubs,” says Eduardo Lopez, Jerde senior design principal.

    A highlight of the property is the large green park which Jerde incorporated into the design after seeing that parks were noticeably absent from the area. “From our many years working in Seoul, we know that people there like to walk, like to enjoy the outdoors and explore their surroundings,” says Danny Ha, Jerde design principal.

    “An important priority for us was to create an urban park in the middle of Mecenatpolis that would give people a place to walk, sit and read, and take a break from the busy city to enjoy the lush surroundings. We sought to keep the pedestrian realm authentic to the culture of Seoul and give people something that they could really use and enjoy.”

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