Hyeji Na (Daewoo), Kakaotalk
Seoul, South Korea
Mixed Use Architecture
A NEW PUBLIC REALM
Arcloud is a large mixed-use development located at the foot of the Geomdansan mountain on the eastern edge of Seoul. The entire development - a mix of larger housing blocks, single-family units, commercial, recreational, and educational facilities.
The Arcloud shopping mall, its name somewhat deceiving, since it encompasses much more: it is a modern hybrid city block, a stacked city that combines retail, housing, public facilities, underground parking, rooftop parks, and a central plaza- aiming to become the lively center of this new Seoul residential area.
A STACKED CITY
The public plazas of the mall are located on street level, directly linked to the surrounding green corridor, offering easy uninterrupted pedestrian access from all sides. A surprising and welcoming exception in a city that is dominated by cars.
THREE CENTRAL CORES
The strategically placed hills – green knolls of lush indigenous Korean perennials, shrubs, ornamental grasses, and tall pine trees- form a rolling landscape and help frame and organize the entire space.
They create two distinct plazas – one dedicated to play and the other for events – whilst respecting the need for clear sight lines and accessibility to the adjacent retail units. The third main public space is the atrium.
PLAY AND COMMUNITY PLAZAS
In line with the brief, we envisioned the plazas of the mall to be the new public realm for the Arcloud community: attractive and inviting spaces, aimed at celebrating the constantly changing rhythm of daily life.
The community plaza is surrounded by a landscape of green rolling hills. This simple gesture creates an open multifunctional event space with a center stage that can be used for performances, while the surrounding bowl-like surface can be filled with water, to be used as a splash pool in summer.
ARCLOUD: AN INTERLINKING AND INTERACTIVE SCULPTURE
Floating above this varied public landscape, and at some points touching it, we conceived a lightweight and cloud-like structure connecting the main functional cores of the public space.
It is a transparent, playable, and interactive sculpture that will attract and engage visitors during both day and night-time as it integrates an atmospheric lighting system.
The structure visually links multiple levels and is accessible from different floors of the shopping mall. It is a sculpture - amorphous on the outside, geometric on the inside - that connects people, places, and activities.
Rising from the atrium, it stretches outside the glass walls, going towards the two main plazas: it interlinks these areas while keeping one strong identity.
The idea for the sculpture 'floating' through the mall's public space was developed from the client's vast set of demands and functions to be hosted: ranging from a playground to a shading system, and the idea to develop an outstanding unique element while maintaining shop facade visibility.
SEOUL AS A METAPHOR
It is hard to pinpoint the essence of Seoul in a single work or even a sentence.
It truly is a multi-layered and multi-faceted metropolis, simultaneously steeped in tradition and future-oriented, densely populated but still reasonably green, its inhabitants as car-loving as they are outdoorsy, and its geography varied, from the flatlands along the plains of the river Han to the rolling hills and mountains that surround the city.
We took all these notions and observations into consideration when designing the play and community plazas, ensuring we created a public area - a neighborhood hub - that would celebrate daily life, therefore echoing, and be as rich, layered, and dynamic as the city of Seoul itself.