UNStudio creates masterplan for new leisure island
Traditional Korean garden inspires tourist destination design
UNStudio has designed a masterplan for Gyeongdo Island, a new 470,000 sq m leisure destination in South Korea. Gyeongdo is located 2 km away from the shoreline of Yeosu City, the main tourist hub of the Namhae region, famous for its green islands and views over the ocean. The new development is intended to transform Gyeongdo Island into a notable marine and coastal tourism destination, with facilities including a hotel, private villas, holiday apartments, and an outdoor-indoor water park resort.
The island has three distinct neighbourhoods, with Gyeongdo Gateway forming the main entrance with a port, cable car station, marina and bridge providing a variety of landmarks and views over the development. Sunrise Waterfront includes a 4-star hotel and condominiums with ballroom, holiday apartments, private villas, the waterpark, and an artificial pool with an artificial beach. The contrasting Sea Breeze Coast district is designed to give visitors a quieter experience, as part of the more secluded and environmentally protected area of the island.
Throughout the whole development, the buildings and public spaces are placed around the natural environment and the green qualities inherent to the island. The Korean garden - an important element of Korean culture - acts as the main inspiration. Traditionally, The Korean garden offers a place for human activities within a seamlessly linked natural and manmade environment. The designers believe that this approach is relevant to the current global situation, as the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of including green zones in urban design as a means to create ‘preventive infrastructures’.