ODA's first project in South Korea, Terrarium Cheong-Dam, seamlessly integrates greenery and public space into its design. The mixed-use tower won Seoul's pilot Creative Innovation Architectural Design Competition, with an emphasis on expanding the public realm on the ground floor, opening up the podium space to the public through porous, inviting green spaces.
Located in Cheongdam-dong, ODA worked with Miraein, Index Partners and Heerim Architects on a proposed tower that is highly aesthetic in design and invokes the artistic sensibility of Seoul’s citizens, strengthening the connection between the city landscape, the public and nature. The concrete tower includes a membership club in the basement, a highly accessible and porous public park and retail space at podium level, office space and high-end residences.
“Seoul is another global city that’s realized the importance of expanding its public realm to create a more meaningful urban environment,” said Eran Chen. “For the tower’s podium, we want to bring the community a space that serves as both a respite from the streetscape and an accessible connection point to the city’s most desirable commercial and residential districts. We’re also bringing this porous design to the building’s greenery-filled terrarium, giving future tenants and residents another valuable space to engage with one another and enjoy nature. This Seoul supertall is just one example of how we can use design to expand the public realm, enliven cities and strengthen communities.”
The podium level is a two-story structure that’s completely open and accessible to the public, featuring multiple access points to a public park with lush landscaping, a water feature, sculpture gardens and an indoor gallery space. Located on a site with hills, the park uniquely uses the natural topography to bring visitors to different levels.
Cheongdam-dong is located south of the river and known for its high-end retail and views of the water and surrounding mountains. By incorporating multiple entrances into the public park, the tower is meant to serve as a connection point to multiple neighborhoods and commercial districts. The area, previously known as Chungsutgol, means clear pond, referring to a clear, blue pond that once existed before the neighborhood’s development. The neighborhood’s name and history served as inspiration for ODA as the firm proposed a tower with nature at the forefront of its design.
Seoul's Creative Innovation Architectural Design Competition is the first time that the city of Seoul incentivized the private sector to incorporate meaningful public space in exchange for allowing participants to build more FAR and height. ODA built the Seoul proposal on the foundation that porosity leads to prosperity. By designing the public podium level to be open, inviting and accessible, the tower will be more attractive to residents, tenants and passersby, as well as foster a greater sense of connection between the community and the city of Seoul.