Mixed-Use Transit Hub: Daegu, Korea

Written by  //  April 18, 2012  //  Profiled Projects  //  Comments Off on Mixed-Use Transit Hub: Daegu, Korea

In 2011, I worked with a team at DIALOG that won a competition for a site in Daegu, South Korea. The project is located adjacent to the ‘Dongdaegu KTX Station’ which is an existing high speed rail network.

First and foremost, the site had to function as an integrated multi-modal transit station that connects arriving train passengers with an internal 36-bay bus terminal and a below-grade subway connection. Systems of passageways, multi-floor escalators and pedestrian bridges were needed to connect the constrained and awkwardly shaped site.

Not only did the design have to be efficient, it also needed to function successfully from a real estate perspective. A million square feet of entertainment and retail, spread vertically over 8 floors, required careful planning in terms of circulation, vertical access and a strong anchoring strategy. Multiple office and hotel buildings are to be located in a rear parcel that is connected to the main site by a sliver of land just wide enough to provide road access.

The undulating glass roof was designed to mimic the landscape of the surrounding mountains. A large open area under this glass is filled with vegetation and water features to create a year-round leisure and entertainment destination meant to draw visitors up to the highest levels of the building.

The short time frame and the complexities of working with a local Korean team 10,000 km away made for an exciting but challenging project. The time difference also had an advantage – we could work continuously 24 hours a day. The biggest scramble came at 3AM the night before the final presentation in Seoul when we realized the pedestrian sky-bridge on the laser-cut model had snapped off on my flight over. Luckily Korean convenience stores sell everything, including superglue!


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Reurbanist is a multi-disciplinary firm that blends land use economics with urban planning and economic development. At its core, Reurbanist believes that great urban places that are compelling and vibrant must find success at both a fiscal and social level. Stronger cities and urban destinations translate into improved job growth, municipal tax revenue, and a higher quality of life for residents.

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