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AECOM Wins International Competition with Vision for Seoul Grand Park
Posted: Tuesday, January 05, 2010 |

A team led by planning, design and engineering firm AECOM has won an international competition for a concept design and feasibility study for Seoul Grand Park in Korea. The winning entry, Gaia: The Living World, envisions an integrated entertainment and educational experience that revitalizes the urban realm and showcases Korean heritage.

New Vision for Seoul Grand Park

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New Vision for Seoul Grand Park by AECOM-led planning collaborative

Seoul Grand Park, a 560-hectare destination with an existing zoo and an amusement park, has provided an important entertainment and recreational function to the community for thirty years. The Seoul Metropolitan Government-sponsored competition drew 21 entries from around the world, with ideas to improve the public space for citizens and better position the site as a regional and international tourist destination. The AECOM team, which included local firms Ga-One Landscape Design and Group Han Associates, as well as Thinkwell Design & Production and Bernard Harrison & Friends, conducted an economic analysis and created a design that combines the amusement park, zoo and botanical garden with new attractions into a one-of-a-kind destination.

New Vision for Seoul Grand Park

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Main Walk at Lakeside Park

“The new Seoul Grand Park vision reinforces the park’s dual commitment to the living environment and entertainment,” said Joe Brown, FASLA, chief executive of Planning, Design + Development at AECOM. “The Living World aspires to be a place of excitement and reflection, encounter and education, where the lines between zoo and theme park disappear in a celebration of ecosystems, culture and history.”

New Vision for Seoul Grand Park

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Treetop Village

The AECOM team brings together multidisciplinary experts from the region and worldwide, including master planners, landscape architects, architects, zoo designers, themed-content developers, and economists. The proposal opens the entire lakefront for community use, reconnecting the city to the waterfront and breaking down the traditional segregated organizational structure of visitor attractions and programming.

New Vision for Seoul Grand Park

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Great Savanna

The new design combines conventionally separate experiences into one. Lush botanical displays, exotic animal exhibits, and exciting rides are woven together to provide a comprehensive, informed experience of our Living World. The plan proposes new attractions, including Seoul Walk and Lakeside Park, a Night Safari at the Great Savanna, Korean Forest, Jungle Cruise, and an entry Winter Garden complete with a giant waterfall.

New Vision for Seoul Grand Park

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Australasia Bio Pavilion

AECOM is renowned for a broad range of planning and design services for cities, public realms and urban parks, including the 2012 London Olympics Legacy Master Plan framework and Saadiyat Island master plan. The company also has extensive experience with theme parks, including planning and design services for the Universal Studios Island of Adventure Theme Park in Florida,  Disney’s California Adventure Park in Anaheim and Disneyland Paris as well as economic analysis for the Busch Entertainment Parks, Universal Studios in Singapore and San Diego Zoo.

New Vision for Seoul Grand Park

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Jungle Cruise

AECOM’s connection to Seoul Grand Park extends to its former companies EDAW, a landscape architecture and planning firm which developed the original theme park plan in the 1980’s, and ERA, an economic consulting firm who conducted the economic feasibility study of the original Seoul Grand Park in the late 1970’s and a revitalization program for the Seoul Zoo in 2001.

New Vision for Seoul Grand Park

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Winter Garden

Howard Altman, Senior Vice President with AECOM’s Design + Planning practice, directed the original design and participated in the current competition.  “This is a unique opportunity to re-think Seoul Grand Park, taking amusement and zoo attractions into a new paradigm of leisure, entertainment and learning for the future.”

Images: AECOM



Comments:
xavier2010
Friday, February 26, 2010
I find this project deplorable. First, how and when did it become ok to translocate original people into foreign lands to be institutional entertainment. It started with slavery and now AECOM is propsing to transport the Massai people to Korea for amusement!. i guess we should be thankful that AECOM did not propose to locate the Aborginial peoples of Australia albeit geographically closer but too politically a hot topic as Australia did forceably relocate the Aboriginals in very recent history. Regardless, this proposal reveals the base disregard and disrespect for the peoples of Africa, peoples of any color and their rights as human beings and freedom of determination.

Second, is it ecologically sound to transport animals from the African savanha to China!. The animals in the images are all targetted by illegal hunters and are herds in jeopardy. China and much of Asia is the home of illegal trafficing of endangered species.

It is my hope the World Wild Life Fund, the United Nations, International agencies for human rights, and all international agencies decry this design and denounce its very selection as the epitomy of irresponsible design and blatant ignorance.

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