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Soundscape: Seoul’s Nodeul Island Transformed into Vibrant Public Park

Soundscape, Seoul, Korea / Heatherwick Studio

Seoul’s Nodeul Island is set to be transformed into a vibrant public park called Soundscape by Heatherwick Studio, after winning a global competition. This innovative project aims to create a stunning landscape that combines nature, culture, and human connection.

The project aims to create a sequence of captivating environments at various elevations that can accommodate musical performances and artistic interventions within a stunning and diverse landscape. The design draws inspiration from the mountainous topography of Seoul and the intricate patterns formed by soundwaves.

Soundscape, Seoul, Korea / Heatherwick Studio

Nodeul Island will provide an extraordinary opportunity for everyone to escape and immerse themselves in the city. The landscape, which undulates and folds like soundwaves, will merge with a new waterfront that is abundant in natural elements, offering individuals a place to explore and express the cultural essence of Seoul.

As visitors step onto the island, they will traverse a dynamic landscape that transforms with the ebb and flow of tides and the passage of seasons. At ground level, an arts center and a public beach will be present. Instead of demolishing the existing artificial landscape, the design will reinforce the riverbanks with soft, naturalistic vegetation. The landscape will then ascend to an events podium, which connects to a striking 1.2km skywalk. This pathway will consist of a series of small, floating islets suspended in the air, providing resting areas with breathtaking panoramic views of the island and the river, extending back to Seoul.

Soundscape, Seoul, Korea / Heatherwick Studio

Neil Hubbard, the leader of the group and partner at Heatherwick Studio, expressed his fascination with the potential of new interventions to enliven Nodeul Island. It is not solely about the captivating aerial canopy, but also about cultivating a complete creative ecosystem where both the spaces above and below the floating landscape are teeming with activity. Initially, visitors will encounter a tranquil and serene island that emphasizes the native flora and fauna. As they venture from the water’s edge, they will be immersed in the captivating drama and harmonies of the sky. The soundscape will serve as both a gateway and a retreat, embodying the vibrant energy and vitality of Seoul.

Soundscape, Seoul, Korea / Heatherwick Studio

Nodeul Island will mark Heatherwick Studio’s inaugural project in South Korea to enter the construction phase. The studio will now collaborate with the Metropolitan Government to progress to the subsequent stages of design. It is anticipated that visitors will be able to experience the new Nodeul Island by 2027. It will follow the studio’s completion of Little Island, a park and outdoor theatre on a raised platform over the Hudson River in New York.

Image courtesy of MIR