Rotterdam-based MVRDV is no stranger to the Seoul area. Its 2018 addition to the Paradise City development, dubbed The Imprint, provided an abstract boost for the colossal entertainment complex near South Korea’s largest airport. This month it was announced the firm won a competition for the major redesign of the Tencheon valley and waterfront in Seoul with “The Weaves,” set to begin construction in 2021.
The Weaves site is located on a large stretch of waterfront land between Seoul’s former Olympic stadium in the Jamsil District and the central business district of Gangnam. In an area dominated by elevated roadways and parking lots, MVRDV plans to turn our attention to the natural landscape, focusing on three major aspects in its design: natural ecosystems, pedestrian access, and space for public programming.
“Seoul is taking amazing steps to transform grey and obsolete infrastructure into lively green and social spaces,” said MVRDV founding partner Winy Maas in a press release. “The Weaves is a design that introduces natural landscape combined with exceptional, varied access. It also responds to the local identity. Jamsil is known for its history of silk production and the design recalls the tangled silk threads of its past in a unique and playful way. It becomes an intertwining poem where movement becomes landscape poetry.”
Major plans include returning the Tancheon river to a more naturalistic state, changing it from a straight canal to a whimsical, meandering stream with retention pools, islands, and aquatic plants to “blur the boundary between land and water.” Additionally, a series of winding paths will allow pedestrian access throughout the site from various points. These graded, intersecting paths will form plazas with cafes and amphitheaters to accommodate vast public programs.
Construction of The Weaves is expected to take approximately three years, with projected completion in 2024.