The main objective of the “Manta Ray” project is to enhance the site’s natural irrigation by transforming the park into an ecological forest of willow tree, for natural protection of the banks against river floods. The project’s ambition is to turn Yeouido Park into a genuine cultural hub, where nature progressively asserts its rights over the concrete city again to better protect it. The urban plan articulates around four biomimetic-looking projects whose architecture is densely vegetalized. These four cores are linked to the public transit system by fruit and vegetable gardens, and by a cable-stayed pedestrian bridge.
Yeoui-Naru: The first core includes the construction of a ferry terminal that manages the residents’ river transit and includes cultural spaces showcasing the history and development projects related to the river, which runs through the city of Seoul;
- Yeouijeong: The second core includes the landscaping of the river bank, bringing back large terraces, pedestrian paths, bicycle lanes, and an amphitheater along the river that that take advantage of the site’s natural slope. The marsh-like bank can accommodate traveling bars such as barges or tiny houses.
- Yeoui Terrace: The third core includes the development of the park’s upper ground along Yeoui-Dong road and its famous lining of cherry blossom trees. Shops dedicated to “Han River, Seoul” products, fish or shellfish restaurants and organic farmers’ markets are connected directly to the subway line 5.
- Ari Cultural Center: The fourth core includes a cultural complex dedicated to temporary or permanent exhibitions, as well as a science center and creative workshops for children.
Panoramic floating steel dikes along the lower docks, linked together with flexible seals, they surround and protect the marina from water currents. These floating piers integrate the technical equipment inside double floors, supplying boats with energy (water and electricity) and biofuels. In the heart of the marina, a floating theatre can be used to organize outdoor shows, while amphibious gardens line up the piers. From the radial and concentric floating piers, tree-like structures made of CLT (cross laminated timber) harvested from eco-responsible Korean forests rise towards the sky. Woven in a honeycomb pattern, those trees branch out at the top, creating the structure of a giant Manta ray over the marina. Inside their trunk, spiral staircases, glass elevators and helical ramps provide access to service and recreational equipment located on the upper level, and to the rooftop. Reception and leisure areas, food courts and exhibition and educational spaces are laid out in the programmatic functional rings, freely punctuating the large double-curved open space area.