The Plaza: memories for the future The proposal for the Plaza ambitions to become a new type of public space in Seoul, one capable to absorb in one same place the memories and cultural heritage of the site, the exciting underground world of passages and connections and a creative and technological platform for learning and innovating.
To achieve this endeavor, we propose to keep thirteen standing columns of the former Japanese building as the only objects standing in the plaza. All other urban furniture are substituted by a soft curved rubber surface acting as seating areas for visitors who wish to sit and have a pause. The new surface of the Plaza acts as a platform to empower memories and nothing stands between the columns and citizens.
Memories can be recalled by direct visual connection with the former building’s columns and other cultural heritage around the site such as Deoksugung Palace’s wall. We propose a complementary digital layer of engagement with the site’s hidden meanings; a layer that allows citizens to receive digital information in the form of specifically designed APPs and augmented reality platforms that complement the visual perception of the site.The smart plaza will provide 5G WIFI connection for the better display of these services. The Plaza also wises to be a large mobile phone charge station.Electromagnetic fields embedded in the Plaza’s pavement create areas of wireless recharge for mobile devices.
The Plaza is paved with a continuous and soft rubber material.This material is foreign to the place creating an interesting tension between“the past” represented in the stones and tiles of the palace’s wall and the concrete and twisted steel bars of the former tax office building and its contemporariness.
The rubber material is the ultimate expression of citizen’s involvement. Before the construction works start, a public call to collect old phone’s cases in a specific location on the site will be suggested. Seoul citizens’ donations will later be recycled into the new plaza’s pavement. The proposed Plaza is penetrated by a mechanical stair case that connects fluently the street level with the underground level. The mechanical connection pretends to reveal on the surface a specific character of the extensive mechanized underground system around the area.
Startup: generating, sharing and testing ideas
Below ground a large space for work and civil discussion on innovative ideas for the city is proposed. The space is dominated by a multi-direction auditorium. This new type of auditorium allows for simultaneous discussions instead of the rigidity of a unidirectional one. We foresee a number of entrepreneurs presenting their ideas simultaneously to other business people, institutions, government officials and normal citizens who wish to input in their work.
Initially the multi-directional auditorium will be used both for work and discussion while in the future -if the Master Plan is implemented-it will be fully used for discussion and presentations moving the working area to a new space below the existing avenue.
Testing is an essential step before launching a product to the market. The existing underpass will be the perfect are to test products. We wish to increase the existing dynamics of the place by including a travelator.Generating further movement of people through the space will increase the chances for entrepreneurs to showcase their exciting mock-ups and receive feedback from simple citizens.