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Design contest held for £9.5m Seoul arts complex

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Seoul Metropolitan Government has announced an international competition to design a £9.5 million arts complex in historic Pyeongchang-dong

Open to domestic and international teams of architects, landscape architects and urban planners, the anonymous competition seeks proposals for a 5,101m² arts centre on the outskirts of the South Korean capital.

The project will transform a vacant 7,347m² site (pictured), overlooking Mount Bukhansan, into a combined art gallery, museum, archive, library and community centre.

According to the brief: ‘The art complex aims to contribute to the development of the local community, the maturity of the local cultural environment and to communication between artists by creating a complex cultural space combining the enjoyment of culture, research and development and learning with the use of abundant local heritage and an art archive as the medium.

‘The competition sets out to achieve openness and connections between the building’s spatial elements instead of division by function. Therefore the winning design is expected to feature an innovative plan which forms connections and interactions between materials and activities throughout the space. Also it must be an ecologically friendly space that is in harmony with nearby Bukhansan, Bugaksan and the surrounding natural environment.’

The hilltop settlement of Pyeongchang-dong, around 5km north of central Seoul, is famous for its many museums, art galleries and picturesque historic buildings. The complex will occupy four plots spread along the busy Pyeongchangmunhwa Road which connects Pyeongchang-dong with nearby Buam-dong and other districts.

Proposals for the new building must be lower than 20m in height and must include at least one underground level and three above-ground floors. Participating teams should have a maximum of five members and at least one licenced Korean or international architect.

Judges include Korea National University of Arts president Bongryeol Kim, Seoul Museum of Art director Honghee Kim, and Hongnam Kim, professor emeritus at Ewha Womans University. Submissions may be in English or Korean.

The winning team is set to be announced on 20 February, and will receive a design contract worth around £500,000 to deliver the project. There will also be a second prize of approximately £20,500; third prize of £15,400; fourth prize of £10,300 and fifth prize of £5,100. The scheme is planned to complete in 2018. 

The registration deadline is 25 January and submissions must be completed by 1 February.

How to apply

Visit the competition website and select English in top left corner for more information

Contact details

Bureau of Urban Improvement of Seoul Metropolitan Government
Tel: +82-2-2133-7619, 7620

Design Competition Management Team
Tel: +82-10-6496-736 

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