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Zaha Hadid Architects

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  • Seoul, South Korea
  • Competition / Research
  • 220,000m2

Just like two arms opening into an embrace, the project offers to the city a new urban space organized around a central plaza. An “Innovation Valley” is established, as two staggered volumes containing office program complete the site perimeter and connect with two existing buildings to the south.

This connection allows a seamless flow between the public plaza and the public programme on lower levels of the building and with the semi-public zones on upper floors and allows access to layered arrangement of open air green spaces, in line with the broader strategy of this part of the city, where eco-friendly zones with large green spaces and parks are predominant. In a similar manner, commercial program blends into the public amenities and establishes a dynamic balance between work, social interaction, culture and relaxation in natural setting. Both the existing north/south and east/west urban axes are further enhanced by the proposal, via articulation of the northern gate and distinctive trim to the volumes to the south.

With Proximity to Seoul and other metropolitan regions and the support of province government to boost innovation through policy measures, Pangyo continues to grow as an incubator of the fourth industrial revolution, an evolution in fields such as information, communications and biotechnology in South Korea.

The project is placed in central commercial zone which currently builds cutting-edge mixed-use centres of IT offices and retail communities that serve neighbouring areas including residential blocks in the Pangyo district and Seoul. Key objective of the project is to create a platform as a ”technological playground” - an “Innovation Valley” district where 13,000 innovative talents and 40 creative businesses gather, supported by high quality infrastructure, and connected via an abundance of public transportation options.

ZHA embed a holistic integration into every aspect of the design. The aim is to create a synergistic environment that leverages innovative design and technology, to create an urban fabric that improves standard of living as well as being highly sustainable. The proposal is designed to be a Launchpad for progressive ideas, fostering a dialogue between office based research, commercial activity and cultural events, in order to create a ‘Circular Causal Relationship’, where an action by a system generates change in its environment and that change is reflected back into the original system in some manner, creating an endless feedback loop, fuelling an ongoing stream of innovation. This relationship is the lynchpin of an Innovation Economy, and vital to the creation of an ‘Innovation Ecosystem’.

As seen from south, the welcoming symmetrical arms of the development are opening into an embrace filled with functions available to the urban dwellers arriving from the metro station below. The staggered volumes system enhances sense of belonging by driving attention to the public square on the ground level as well as unveiling layered concept for green outdoor spaces and terraces. From north, the new gate offers an entrance protected by the connecting central bridge, opening into a pleasant nature-filled space ideal for gathering during summer period, as well as a suited for finding shelter during cold and rainy seasons. The use of several water features and green terraced spaces further emphasizes vertical connectivity between metro concourse level and public spaces above and inside of the podium. The podium houses a mall that loops on the third floor around its own central plaza. The connection between mall and the adjacent programmes becomes a public promenade inside the building, hosting a sequence of cultural, shopping and entertaining experiences. This provision of multiple event and breakout spaces interwoven within the major programs of the scheme allows for a cross pollination of ideas and programs. Enhanced by smart technologies, these will enable both virtual and physical networking resulting in rapid transfers of innovative ideas.


Zaha Hadid Architects


Patrik Schumacher

Project Director

Paola Cattarin

Project Associates

Daniel Fiser, Hee Seung Lee

Project Team

Igor Pantic, Harry Spraiter, Niran Buyukkoz, Thomas Bagnoli, Christina Christodoulidou, Amittai Antoine, Shahd Abdelmoneim, Miguel Quezada Diaz Morales, Mariagrazia Lanza, Delfina Bocca, Uli Blum, Philipp Siedler

Local Architect

Samoo Architects, Seoul