Yongsan District

Seoul is a city predicated on density with moments of relief occurring outside of the center of the city in the mountains.  Created in partnership with Jordan Barr, this Yongsan District urban proposal relies on a blend of both intense dense areas and open regions of relief to produce a locally balanced urban environment.  This project’s organization goes beyond typical urban efficiencies—vehicular flow, orthogonal navigation, prescribed zoning.  It is organized into inverted city blocks, with a street and buildings located at the center of the block.  The size and formation of the inverted blocks varies, so the density and distance between buildings varies as well.  In the densest areas, the buildings are located above the streets, and cars and pedestrians pass underneath them, while in the less dense areas the buildings are smaller and fragmented. Moving through the site from one block to the next, one passes through an urban gradient, with hyper-intense city life transitioning to an almost rural calm; thus this district possesses an organic experiential variation.


Site plan, Yongsan District proposal


Working train tracks pass through the site.



PennDesign, 701 Studio, Instructor: Ali Rahim, 2011

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