Seoul Floating Islands by Haeahn Architecture + H Architecture
H Architecture in New York and Haeahn Architecture in Seoul collaborated and won a design competition to create the floating islands that will become a cultural icon of Seoul. Programmatically, the islands contain several cultural, educational, and recreational functions. They will be the venue for many featured events in the city. The design concept stems from the stages of a blooming flower: a seed, bud, and blossom. Each of the islands take on the form of one of these stages, manifesting as delicate yet bold structures of glass, wood, and steel. When completed, the islands were named “Sebit Dungdungseom” which translates to “3 Floating Lantern Islands”.
The smallest of the islands is the “seed”, which is named Island Terra. This island is intended as a base hub for water sports and leisure activities, which are quite popular on the Han River. Island Terra has a roof garden, club house, and water slides that plunge into the river. Also incorporated into this island are the septic and MEP systems needed to ensure that the operation of all three islands have the least impact on the Han River and its surroundings. The bud of the flowers is Island Viva. This island will serve as an experience performance space for exhibitions and entertainment events. The main program is an urban entertainment center. Island Viva also includes an IT and 3D bar, and an outdoor dance space. This island is characterized by an aluminum metal panel shell that is delicately enclosed with metal framed petals. The diagonal patterning of the external shell emphasizes the dynamic movement of the flower blooming.
The final stage of the flower is the blossom, which is characterized by Island Vista. It is the largest of the three islands and is composed of layers of glass petals. This island will accommodate a 700 person capacity multipurpose hall for plays, concerts, festivals and other cultural performances. Island Vista also has a restaurant, firefly garden, observation deck, and an observation station.