Women & family mixed-use complex Seoul

Seoul Urban Womb is designed as an organic urban womb that intensifies spatially and programmatically the urbanity of the site and the wider area. The building consists of a compact rectangular volume that is interrupted by a sequence of voids to create a dynamic network of activities inside the building. The main void of the project is defined by the big pixelated plinth and resembles an over-scaled urban living room or lecture theatre for the community of Women and Families of Seoul to exist together in a common three-dimensional network and perform their daily activities within an open platform.
The project develops a strong direct urban intervention by connecting the train station of the area with the Women Plaza through the new building of the facility. This programmatic carpet of connection breaks the rectangular volume of the project and creates a large urban void that can host events and activities. A large 5-floors-high urban door opens to enhance the continuity and welcome the fusion between public and private, inside and outside, as well as transition from the urban to the domestic. As a result, rather that breaking the program into several smaller volumes, the proposal condenses all of it into a single orthogonal envelope, suggesting efficiency and unity as the future of sustainability both in environmental and social terms.

Total area:
Competition team:

Seoul, KR
Seoul Metropolitan Government
competition entry
20 500 m2
Marina Kounavi, in collaboration with Architects for Urbanity: Irgen Salianji, Karolina Szóstkiewicz, Stavria Psomiadi, Antony Laurijsen