“Underpinning its role as a gateway to the Yeouido Park, our project proposes a simple, elegant, and contextual response to the liminal threshold between water and land.”
Conceived as a new iconic landmark in the River Han, our proposal for the new Yeoui-naru ferry terminal and adjoined Marina facilities celebrates South Korean’s richly layered history, tectonic tradition and ethnographic context, as well as the historic relation between the city of Seoul and the river Han.
Underpinning its role as a gateway to the Yeouido Park, our project proposes a simple, elegant, and contextual response to the liminal threshold between water and land. Inspired by the image of a lotus flower weightlessly floating on the water, the building appropriates a highly iconic, easily identifiable form: an undulating surface composed of four symmetrically-arranged sinuous arches, producing a structure that carefully frames views of the adjacent river and the skyline of Seoul.
Inspired by Frei Otto’s soap film experiments on minimal surfaces and timber grid shells, as well as Felix Candela’s work on complementary hypar shell structures, the project’s structural and spatial approach utilizes mathematical concepts to produce a self-supported structural system that conforms to the geometry of a type of minimal surface known as the Enneper surface. The resulting structure takes advantage of the membrane action provided by the double curvature to enhance the overall load bearing efficiency, while allowing long distance spans with a minimum amount of material.
The result is highly sculptural, structurally coherent, and spatially expressive: a structure that is timeless in its architectural language and innovative in its structural and tectonic approach.
A white PTFE membrane wraps the exterior of the structure, protecting it from the elements whilst giving it a light and elegant appearance.
Programmatically, the building is designed to facilitate circulation of passengers from the adjacent parkland and metro station. Served by a multi-level interchange bridge that spans across Yeouido Park, the building allows passengers coming from Yeoui Subway Station to connect directly with the terminal, streamlining transport connections to the rest of the city. Upon entering the building, visitors are welcomed by a central viewing platform conceived as an extension of the bridge – penetrating the envelope to offer spectacular views of the Han River and the city skyline.
Contained within the undulating geometry of the grid-shell roof, the program is contained within the perimeter of two rectangular volumes, arranged to produce a central space that acts as a circulation hub and contains the waiting areas. Other facilities such as the ticket office and the cafeteria, as well as the public toilets and administration offices are symmetrically disposed at either side of the access bridge, and can be expanded in the future if required.
Client: Seoul Metropolitan Government
Use: Ferry terminal
Bldg. Area: Steel pontoon 2400 m2, upper structure 2100 m2
Status: International Design Competition
Architect: LUCA POIAN FORMS