Seoul Metropolitan Government has announced an international competition to create a £30 million home for its animation centre
The contest seeks proposals for a 21,000m² venue to replace the South Korean organisation’s ageing 1960s headquarters (pictured). It is open to teams of architects, urban designers and landscape architects.
The £30 million project is part of larger plans to improve connectivity and walking routes within the surrounding area, dubbed ‘Animation Town’.
The Seoul Animation Centre, in Yejang-dong on the northern edge of the historic Namsan Mountain, was founded in 1999 and occupies four separate buildings, constructed in 1962, which now need replacing.
The centre hosts exhibitions, education programmes and festivals, and receives more than 250,000 visitors every year. Facilities inside the complex, which is decorated with colourful murals of cartoon characters, include a library, exhibition hall and 179-seat cinema.
The project aims to double the annual number of visitors to the 8,340m² site, which is also due to become part of a new pedestrianised zone with outdoor events spaces and scenic routes. The new centre will feature an exhibition hall, educational facilities, offices, meeting rooms, a café, shop, play area, 300-seat cinema, library and underground car park.
According to the brief: ‘The facility is highly anticipated to act as the heart of the connected walking network ranging from the Seoul Station Overpass, Saewoon Arcade to Nagwon Arcade and the green network, along with the city’s cultural and tourist resources.
‘It is also expected to stage a core role of founding Seoul’s creative industry – centred around cartoons, animation, characters and the games industry – while also respecting the geographical-historic and cultural-clustering context.’
The Namsan district has been associated with book-making and print-forging since the 15th century. Since the turn of the millennium it has been undergoing large-scale regeneration. Next month it will introduce a toll for older diesel cars, intended to improve air quality.
Yejang-dong, north of Namsan park, was developed during the Japanese colonial era and later used as a CIA military intelligence base during the 20th Century. Prominent local landmarks include the 262m-high summit of Namsan Mountain, the YTN Seoul Tower communications mast, the National Theatre, a cable car and a revolving restaurant.
Judges for the competition will include Sung Hong Kim from the University of Seoul and Young Jang of local practice WISE Architecture. The winning team is set to be announced on 10 November, and will receive a £1.5 million contract for the design phase, which is due to complete next October. The scheme is scheduled to complete in 2019.
There will also be a second prize of £27,000, third prize of £20,000, fourth prize of £14,000 and fifth prize of £7,000.
The registration deadline is 5pm local time on 14 October and submissions must be completed by 27 October.
How to apply
Bureau of Urban Improvement of Seoul Metropolitan Government
Tel: +82-2-2133-7619, 7620
Design Competition Management Team