Foster + Partners, announced in their web site that in collaboration with PHA and Mobility in Chain, they have won an international competition where architects were challanged to come up with a masterplan for the expansion of the Incheon Free Economic Zone, encompassing the islands of Kanghwa and Onjin-gun, to the North East of Seoul, thus simply bridging Communism and Capitalism.
Incheon’s Free Economic Zone, the first in Korea, was officially designated by the Korean government in August of 2003. The goal is to transform this area into hubs for logistics, international business, leisure, and tourism for the Northeast Asian, improving the business environment for foreign-invested enterprises and the living conditions for foreigners. IFEZ is planned to be a self-contained living and business district featuring air and sea transportation, a logistics complex, an international business center, financial services, residences, schools and hospitals, and shopping and entertainment centres.
The place will not only be a symbolic bridge between two feuding countries, aslo a hub for green industry (pv panels and wind turbins manufacturers for instance). The masterplan includes biomass energy generation, the use of hydrogen fuel cells and hydroponic roofs. Onjin-gun Island will be transformed into a sustainable resort and world’s longest bridge will connect South to North Korea and the airport.
There will be no structure above 50 metres to preserve the rural landscape, and the architecture will blend the vernecular with minimalist principles.
Grant Brooker, a design director at Foster + Partners shared his enthusiasm about the masterplan:
“Working at a very strategic level, we saw the masterplan as an opportunity to explore the sustainable potential of this extraordinary island, exploiting its pivotal position close to Seoul and its rugged landscape. We are delighted that the judges share our vision and, along with our collaborators at A+U, PHA and MIC, we hope to develop the project into the next stage,”
Comprising a huge scale task, Incheon is planned to be finished in 15 years as a 300 square-kilometre zone expanding from a transportation spine and to be a centre for green industry hosting 320,000 residents and commuters as opposed to the current number of 35,000.