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Thursday, April 22, 2010

Garak Market redevelopment, Seoul, South Korea

Winning proposal for redevelopment of Garak Market released
Samoo Architects and Engineers have won a design competition with their proposal for the redevelopment of the Garak Market in Seoul. Designed nearly a quarter of a century ago, the market was the first public wholesale market in Korea and with an area of 543,451 sq m, is the centre of trade for fruit, vegetables and meats in Seoul. However, it has been criticised for its ever-present traffic congestion and inefficient logistics system, both of which the winning proposal aims to tackle.

To realise a state-of-the-art 21st century market place environment, the design solution focused on creating duality and ambivalence at two distinctive zones – wholesale and retail. A key part of the design is transforming the roof of the market into a giant park that encourages recreational, sports and cultural activities.

The redevelopment plan of the market will begin by focussing on constructing space-efficient, multi-tasking facilities equipped with a total control centre which will allow Garak Market to transform into a more cost-effective wholesale market. Secondly, by expanding centres for packaging, processing, storaging, and delivering, and by establishing a more sophisticated cold chain, food hygiene and safety system, it will achieve optimized, modernised facilities for logistics and distribution.

Thirdly, building a spacious parking space, constructing underground waste treatment facilities, and utilising solar power and renewable energy will make it possible to develop a more convenient, pleasant and environmentally friendly wholesale market. Finally, it is hoped that developing parks, gyms, and market squares for locals will enhance the relationship with the local community. In addition, an agriculture distribution museum, traditional food quarters and cultural experience spaces will be created as tourist attractions within Seoul.

The construction period is scheduled to last 11 years - from 2009 to 2020. In order not to disturb daily trade during the redevelopment process, the construction will be divided into 3 separate phases.

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