Architecture

Undulating river-based park adds some green space to Seoul

Undulating river-based park ad...
Assuming all goes ahead as planned, construction on The Leaf is expected to begin in late 2023
Assuming all goes ahead as planned, construction on The Leaf is expected to begin in late 2023
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The Leaf will be situated in South Korea's Han River and accessed by bridge
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The Leaf will be situated in South Korea's Han River and accessed by bridge
The Leaf's undulating form will provide viewing points and create several sheltered spaces suitable for performances
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The Leaf's undulating form will provide viewing points and create several sheltered spaces suitable for performances
Assuming all goes ahead as planned, construction on The Leaf is expected to begin in late 2023
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Assuming all goes ahead as planned, construction on The Leaf is expected to begin in late 2023
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Heatherwick Studio has shown a growing interest in waterfront parks in recent years. It has already completed the Little Island in New York City's Hudson River, while The Cove in San Francisco is due to be finished in 2026. The high-profile British firm has now proposed yet another similar project in the form of a greenery-filled park/pier on a river in Seoul, South Korea.

The project, which is officially named The Leaf, is part of a wider overall plan to redevelop the area around the nearby Olympic Stadium, which was originally created for the 1988 Summer Olympics. Heatherwick Studio is working as part of a consortium of design firms involved in the project, alongside Benoy, Populous, DA Architecture Group and Now Architects.

The Leaf will be located on Seoul's Han River. It will be accessed from the shore using a footbridge, and its undulating form will create multiple viewing points. Its uppermost area will be covered in greenery, and will include several walking trails as well as water gardens, play areas and observation points. Elsewhere there will be a flexible event space and auditorium, plus a small marina that will host water taxis and leisure craft.

The Leaf's undulating form will provide viewing points and create several sheltered spaces suitable for performances
The Leaf's undulating form will provide viewing points and create several sheltered spaces suitable for performances

"At the heart of our project is the idea of playful togetherness," explained Stuart Wood, Partner and Group Leader at Heatherwick Studio. "We want this to be a refreshing and dynamic new civic space for the city of Seoul where people come to laugh, explore and connect. Somewhere joyful and restorative for everyone."

The project isn't definite yet and discussions are still ongoing, but assuming all goes as planned, construction is expected to begin in late 2023.

Sources: Heatherwick Studio, Seoul Government [in Korean]

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