20 Mar – 18 Apr 2009
Architecture Research Unit:
Saemangeum Island City. A new city of coexistence, civility and a sense of time
Construction of the Saemangeum sea wall on the South-west coast of Korea began in 1992 and was completed in late spring 2006. Spanning 34 km, it is the longest sea-wall in the world. It now encloses a freshwater lake of more than 400 sq km. The Architecture Research Unit /London Metropolitan University under the direction of Florian Beigel and Philip Christou is one of seven international design research teams that were asked in January 2008 to develop an urban design concept for a new global city of the 21st Century to be built on land to be reclaimed on this site.*
The approach aru has taken, starts with the design of the public spaces of the city, with the intention of engendering civility and cultural continuity. In the case of Saemangeum this means high quality water spaces within the city. A number of ‘city structures’ have been suggested, based on studies of examples from around the world of city blocks, squares and a variety of other urban typologies. These have been arranged to make a varied and rich city fabric that is multifunctional, designed to anticipate and adapt to changes in programme in the future.
aru is looking for a city of co-existence of types of people and types of employment. The idea is to design a city that is not divided into separate zones of specific functions. Rather, the city as a whole at all stages of its development, is the attraction.
The exhibition is planned as a journey through ARU’s thinking and drawing process in the design of a new city with the size of Central London. The display will include original sketches, urban research precedent studies, photographs taken on site, and design concept models.
* The aru design proposal titled Saemangeum Island City was selected in August 2008 as one of three winning projects to be presented to the Saemangeum Task Force under the direction of the President of South Korea, Lee Myung-bak. The other winning teams are Columbia University, New York, directed by Jeffrey Inaba, and MIT directed by Nadir Tehrani and Alexander D’Hooghe.