Culture / Design

MVRDV, Gansam Design “Paradise City” in Seoul

Co-designed by the Dutch and Korean architectural firms, Seoul’s new entertainment plaza will be doused in a luminous blanket of yellow light.

Jul 24, 2016 | By Shatricia Nair

Here is something to add to your already lengthy itinerary for Korea – “Paradise City”, a new entertainment plaza in Seoul, will be designed by Dutch architectural firm MRVDV with Korean Gansam Architects & Partners, and will feature an unmistakable luminous “sunbeam” draped over its entrance.

Located a mere 10-minute walk from the Incheon International airport, the 9,800 sqm “Paradise City” will see the construction of two buildings, the Sandbox (3,600 sq m) and the Nightclub (6,200 sq m); the former is set to contain retail outlets, while the latter will house entertainment facilities. They are slated to be a part of an even larger tourist complex that spans 33 hectares in total, and will join a boutique hotel and convention center, a spa and public plaza.

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MVRDV followed the brief to a tee by limiting the number of windows and openings. The firm’s co-founder Winy Maas explains that “the buildings are opened by lifting them like a curtain, unraveling their interior. Then, to top it off is the golden spot, marking the entrance like a sunbeam, making its presence known even from the air and the landing planes at Incheon airport.” Draped over the Nightclub’s entrance, the “sunbeam” conceals an integrated ramp and leads to a gold wall, which lifts up to unveil its interior. Glass floor panels give way to the car park, service spaces and inner workings of the structures inside both buildings.

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Headed by Winy Maas, Jacob van Rijs and Nathalie de Vries, MVRDV boasts a portfolio which includes the Gemini Residence silo conversion in Copenhagen, Japan’s Matsudai Cultural Centre and Madrid’s Mirador housing estate. Its collaborator, Gansam has worked on the Jeju Provincial Art Museum and Suncheon International Wetlands Center.

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