The Netherlands

West 8 urban design & landscape architecture b.v.

Nico Koomanskade 1021
3072 LM Rotterdam
The Netherlands

+31 (0) 10 485 5801


West 8 Brussels urban design & landscape architecture bvba

Waaienberg 123
1745 Opwijk

+31 (0) 10 485 5801

United States

West 8 urban design & landscape architecture p.c.

2133 Arch Street, Suite 101
Philadelphia, PA 19103
United States of America

+1 347 371 2252

Yongsan Park Masterplan Development presented to general public and officials of the Republic of Korea

On 25th November 2016, the updated Yongsan Park Masterplan, titled ‘Yongsan Park, Healing and Recovery of the Heart of Seoul’, was presented to the public and media, at the auditorium of the National Museum. Panels illustrating the scenery of the envisioned park, and a 3.5 meter by 5 meter scaled model of the future Yongsan Park, were shown to the Minister, the Yongsan Park Committee, and to numerous members of the Korean Press. General public, local experts, scholars and stakeholders attended the meeting with much enthusiasm.

Together with Mr. Kim Kyung-Hwan, vice minister for Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport, West 8’s Adriaan Geuze and IROJE’s Seung Hyo Sang participated in a subsequent podium discussion and explained how they would join forces with local citizens and community groups, to work towards achieving the goal of preserving this culturally, historically and ecologically unique park, with the ultimate aim for it to become Seou City’s future cultural landmark.

In accordance with the original plan, the US army will withdraw from the site in 2017, which will result in 1200 existing buildings being vacated. In consultation with local heritage experts, these buildings will be assessed for their historical and cultural value. The general public in particular, is encouraged to participate in the planning process and is encouraged to participate in site visits and public presentations. The aim is to collect a diverse range of opinions and ideas and a cooperative design panel, consisting of Korean citizens and the Seoul City Government will be formed in 2017 to help guide important programing decisions for the future Yongsan Park.

Officials of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport commented: “It is very important to listen to the opinions of our citizens whilst assessing valuable buildings, and to their ideas for the re-programming and future use of these buildings. We will take their comments into account, which is a huge and very important task.” The idea is to remain flexible in the planning. A genuine reflection of the culture, ecology and history of the site shall remain the compass for the future design panel.

Another question raised during the podium discussion concerned possibly polluted soil on the current site. “Contaminated soil is a constant issue that we, landscape architects, face everyday,” said Adriaan Geuze, “this is not a local problem of this military site of Korea, but a global one. West 8 has been responsible for dealing with problems of soil contamination around the world in 20 countries. We work closely with engineers and experts who can solve and mitigate these problems”. He ensured to the public that he is confident on dealing with the soil remediation issue, “given some time, this problem can be resolved.”

As four years have passed since the international design competition was held, there were also questions about the difference between the current update and the initial winning proposal. Architect Seung Hyo Sang said “it has been necessary to adjust the plan to reflect the Korea-U.S. agreement, which has resulted in a realignment of the site boundary. “Parts of the park have been redesigned to retain the original design principle” he said. “Such alterations are necessary to achieve a complete city park; a national park”. The current site of Yongsan Park is a walled, prohibited area in the heart of Seoul, and is completely cut off from the surrounding city. How to incorporate the park into the urban fabric of Seoul City is yet another significant task for the design team. “Although it is located in the centre of Seoul, it appears as an isolated forbidden land. The edges of the future park shall resemble and respond to the surrounding urban context,” architect Seung Hyo Sang said. Adriaan Geuze, “We are investigating how the park can be linked with its surroundings, and we hope in this design that the park will be anchored into the city,” he said.

Healing Nature

The essence of the design is the restoration and dramatization of the original topographic ridgeline connecting Yongsan Park northward to Namsan, and beyond to the distant Buk-ak Mountain. This conceptually ties the park into the continuous North-South ridgeline that defines the landscape of the Korean peninsula – the “Baek-du-dae-gan.” Along this newly established topography, West 8 has created diverse biotopes that give illusions of the many beautiful landscape types that make up Korea. From open meadows to deep forests, from rocky cascades to cleansing wetlands, Yongsan Park provides visitors with an ever-changing landscape experience for all seasons.

Yongsan Park is, and will remain, a historically important place

Adriaan Geuze, “South Korea has a long history dating back from ancient Korea, we see it from its food culture, in the spirit of people, in poetry, its art, all these cultural assets are accumulated and reflected in the most cosmopolitan and modern part of today’s Seoul” and “to create a park where various concepts and values can come together, an extensive variety of activities beyond the cultural and philosophical history should all co-exist here within one space. It is a very complex task, but it is our mission to accomplish it” he said.

While investigating the history of the Yongsan Park site, Geuze and Seung have tracked traces of history of the buildings; its topography and eventually developed an idea of how to enhance the beautiful scenery of Korea, so that the younger generation of today, and those to come, can enjoy the park. Both key designers participated in the discussion and concluded, “The park will be truly completed by those who use it. Architects and landscape architects can only lay the basis. This is meant to be a place to communicate with more people and to enrich our lives. It is therefore imperative that everyone participates in it.”

West 8 向公眾和傳媒介紹龍山公園總體規劃進展

2016年11月25日,在首爾韓國國家博物館的禮堂West8向公眾和媒體介紹了的龍山公園總體規劃更新案,名為“龍山公園: 首爾市心臟的治療和復原”。向韓國國家部長,龍山公園委員會和許多韓國新聞界的成員用75幅畫作以及一個3.5米乘5米的未來龍山公園的模型展示了公園的願景風景。韓國國民,當地專家及學者熱情參觀展會。

連同韓國土地基礎設施和運輸部副部長 Kim Kyung-Hwan先生,West 8 的 Adriaan Geuze 與 IROJE 的 Seung Hyo Sang 參加了隨後的講台討論,並解釋了他們將如何與當地公民和社區團體共同努力實現這個文化、歷史和生態獨特的國家公園,其最終目標是將其創作成首爾市的未來文化地標。



在講台討論期間提出的另一個問題涉及場地的土壤可能受到污染。 Adriaan Geuze 說:“受污染的土壤是我們景觀設計師天天面對的一個常見問題,這不是韓國軍事基地的本土問題,而是一個全球性問題。West 8負責處理世界各地20個國家的土壤污染問題,我們與工程師和專家密切合作,可以解決和緩解這些問題。” 他向公眾保證,他有信心處理土壤修復問題:“給我們一點時間,這個問題將可以解決。”

自國際設計比賽舉行以來四年已經過去了,也有人質疑當前的更新和最初的獲勝案之間的差異。建築師Seung Hyo Sang表示,“有必要調整計劃以反映韓美協議,這導致了基地邊界的重新調整。公園的部分已經重新設計,以保留我們原設計的原則。這些改變對於實現一個完整的城市公園是必要的; 這將是一個國家公園”。龍山公園的現址是位於首爾市中心的240畝面積的禁區,與周邊城市完全隔絕。如何將公園融入首爾市的城市結構是設計團隊的另一項重要任務。 “雖然它位於首爾市的中心,它過去一百年是一個孤立的禁止土地。未來公園的邊緣應該與周圍的城市環境相融,並對其作出呼應”。建築師 Seung Hyo Sang 說。 Adriaan Geuze 補充:“我們正在研究公園可如何與周圍環境相連,我們希望在這個設計中,公園將被定位回到城市的脈搏中。”