Dongdaemun Design Plaza & Park ongoing project by Zaha Hadid Architects

We have presented SOM's project Beijing CBD Expansion which may be completed in 2011. The firm will share this completion year Zaha Hadid Architects, in collaboration with Seoul-based Samoo Architects & Engineers, Arup and Evolute. Zaha Hadid Architects unveil the progress of their Dongdaemun Design Park & Plaza. This project, started in 2007, consists of a 30,000 sq. m. park and 85,000 sq. m. design complex for Central Seoul, precisely a learning resource for designers and members of the public with a design museum, library and educational facilities. The park will create a green oasis within the dense urban surroundings of Dongdaemun, Seoul.
Dongdaemun Design Park & Plaza — Render, Zaha Hadid Architects, Seoul, Korea, © Zaha Hadid Architects

The shape of the Dongdaemun Design Plaza and Park revolves around the ancient city wall which forms the central element of the composition. It results in a continuous landscape physically connecting the park and the plaza together.
Dongdaemun Design Plaza & Park — Render, Zaha Hadid Architects, Seoul, Korea, © Zaha Hadid Architects

Concepts of interaction and fluidity structure the curvilinear building and the park which will act as a catalyst. The objective is to create an interaction not only across all the design disciplines but also between activities of the Plaza and the public. Voids, undulations, depressions, smoothness shape the Plaza and the Park. Precisely, Evolute, which collaborates with Zaha Hadid Architects for this projects as for many other projects, gives a fascinating information of the design.
The Dongdaemun Design Plaza and Park project consists of 8,385 panels. One step of discrete optimization appears to take on average 30 minutes, while one step of continuous optimization requires about 10 minutes, making this project a complex case study of architectural geometry (Eigensatz, Kilian, Schiftner, Mitra, Pottmann, Pauly, 2010).
Dongdaemun Design Plaza & Park — Panelization, Zaha Hadid Architects, Seoul, Korea, © Zaha Hadid Architects. Originally appeared on Evolute.
>> Comparison of different methods for the same quality thresholds. State-of-the-art commercial tools only support a greedy panel assignment based on local fitting (top). Just one single application of our discrete optimization greatly reduces cost without loss in surface quality (middle). The full paneling algorithm interleaving discrete optimization with global continuous registration produces a high quality paneling (bottom). This solution contains 90% single curved panels and a very small number of custom molds, leading to a significantly reduced cost compared to greedy and local methods. The zoom on the right shows our algorithm supports arbitrary curve network topology, including t-junctions. (Zaha Hadid Architects, Dongdaemun design Plaza and Park, Seoul) << (Eigensatz, Kilian, Schiftner, Mitra, Pottmann, Pauly, 2010)

This process is based on single-curved panels, each of which, contrary to double-curved panels, are developable into the plane and have a zero Gaussian curvature (K=0). As recent research led by Evolute shows, the manufacturing of single-curved panels appears to be much easier than that of double-curved ones (Pottmann, Schiftner, Wallner, 2008). Indeed, today only few buildings which use that idea have been realized, it is obvious that the Dongdaemun Design Plaza & Park will open new possibilities of manufacturing panels with simplicity.
The result will be a unity of the architectural element and the landscape element, innovation and tradition, if not to say architectural design and tradition. Zaha Hadid Architects draw their inspiration from Korean painting tradition which brings out the interaction of human being and nature. The Park aims at reinterpreting the tradition of Korean garden design: reflecting pools, lotus ponds, pebble beds and bamboo groves, with no single feature dominating the perspective.
Dongdaemun Design Plaza & Park — Render, Zaha Hadid Architects, Seoul, Korea, © Zaha Hadid Architects 

The Dongdaemun Design Park & Plaza will transform Seoul into a greener city by folding into the internal shopping/dining area below.

Pottman Helmut, Schiftner Alexander, Wallner Johannes, "Geometry of Architectural Freeform Structures", 2008.
Eigensatz Michael, Kilian Martin, Schitner Alexander, Mitra Niloy J., Pottmann Helmut, Pauly Mark, "Paneling Architectural Freeform Surfaces", 2010.
Project data:
Program: Park and Design Complex for Central Seoul
Architects: Zaha Hadid Architects with the collaboration of Samoo Architects & Engineers
Design: Zaha Hadid with Patrik Schumacher
Structural Engineers: ARUP
Geometry: Evolute
Landscape: Gross Max
Façade: Group 5F
Building: 85,000 sq. m.
Site: 65,000 sq. m.
Park: 30,000 sq. m.

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