'10 minute city' set to transform Seoul neighbourhood

29 October 2021
Credit: WAX & Virgin Lemon
  • WAX & Virgin Lemon
  • WAX & Virgin Lemon
  • WAX & Virgin Lemon
  • WAX & Virgin Lemon
  • WAX & Virgin Lemon
  • WAX & Virgin Lemon


South Korea

UNStudio masterplans 504,000 sqm development for digital economy

Tenderstream member UNStudio has completed the masterplan for Project H1, a mixed-use development in Seoul set transform an existing industrial and railway site into a 504,000 sq m district for the digital economy. Project H1 is initiated by the Hyundai Development Company, who aim to create a neighbourhood where quality of life, health, nature and the establishment of a local community are paramount. Named a ’10-minute city’, the concept for the project is based on the idea that all residents can access the area’s amenities within a short walk of their homes. 

The physical urban design is guided by traditional Korean urban planning principles, which typically respond to the surrounding natural landscape. Local mountains and the venation pattern found in leaves informed the design, with key landscape elements including cultivated nature in the form of gardens, parks and themed green roofs, alongside less cultivated landscapes and nature zones.

Alongside the inclusion of various of private, semi-public and public programmes, UNStudio collaborated with the consultancy arm of UNSense to propose a plan for the integration of tailored, on-demand digital packages for the future residents. The added tech layer is designed to create a fully digitally serviced neighbourhood, going beyond the usual efficiency focus of Smart City models in order to enhance the daily lives of the residents by freeing up their time for leisure activities. 

Back in the physical realm, UNStudio have included a network of areas called ‘Third Places’ to the retail component. Focussed on making, designing, exchanging and sharing, these undefined spaces are comprised of multi-purpose communal areas with no fixed programme. Ben van Berkel, founder and principal architect of UNstudio, stated: “We have taken an approach of ‘flexible urban density’. This enables the multi-functional use of public space and employs mixed-use organisational models to ensure that the residents can meet, connect and socialise, both in planned and spontaneous scenarios. The components of the masterplan not only encourage the creation of strong community bonds, the proposed digital service packages also create an unprecedented level of convenience for the residents.” 

Lucy Nordberg
Tenderstream Head of Research

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