Vincent Callebaut Architectures, the firm behind Taipei's twisting tree-covered tower, has unveiled a novel new ferry terminal for Seoul, South Korea. If built, it would resemble a massive manta ray and be able to float in place to deal with seasonal flooding. It would also include some very ambitious sustainable technology, allowing it to produce all the energy it needs.

The Manta Ray proposal was designed for an international competition and is envisioned for Seoul's Yeouido Park, which is on the bank of the Han River.

It actually consists of two parts. The first involves extensive landscaping of the area, including new marshes to help with flood protection, the planting of a willow tree forest, constructing pedestrian paths, bicycle lanes, and a cultural complex.

The second part is the ferry terminal itself. Named Yeoui-Naru, the building would comprise three levels. The lowest is at water level and would include a marina for small boats and water taxis enclosed by floating dikes, in addition to a larger pier for ferries. Moving up a level would reveal large reception and leisure areas, food courts, exhibition and educational spaces.

Up on the rooftop there would be an observation deck and rooftop garden, also accessible directly from land using a cabled pedestrian bridge.

The futuristic design is very reminiscent of Callebaut's previous output and includes complex honeycomb patterns of CLT (cross laminated timber) woven into shapes suitable for staircases, glass elevators and ramps.

The Yeoui-Naru ferry's roof would be covered with a huge rooftop solar power array, along with a wind turbine farm, with helix turbines shaped like trees. Biodegradable waste would be refined to produce yet more energy and high-tech water turbines would turn the river's kinetic energy into power too. All of this tech would be plugged into the grid to share excess juice with the city.

The Manta Ray project is just a proposal for now and there are no immediate plans to build it. However Callebaut has surprised us before by getting the Agora Tower built, so it might be wise not to rule this ambitious concept out completely.

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