Heatherwick Studio chosen to transform Nodeul Island

Nodeul Island concept perspective

Heatherwick Studio has been chosen as the the winner of a global competition to transform Nodeul Island, an artificial island on the Han River in the centre of Seoul into a new public park.  

The project, named Soundscape, consists of a series of dramatic spaces on different levels designed to accommodate musical performances and artistic displays within a stunning and biodiverse landscape. The design is inspired by Seoul’s mountainous terrain and the patterns formed by soundwaves. It was chosen after a year-long series of exhibitions, consultations, and a public vote.

Nodeul Island concept perspective

Thomas Heatherwick, the founder and design director of Heatherwick Studio, said: 

“I am thrilled that Soundscape has been chosen by the people of Seoul. In this hyper-digital age, we’ve had so many amazing innovations in the way people live but there has also been an increasing sense of loneliness and isolation. We want to make a hyper-physical place that reconnects Seoulites with nature, culture and, most importantly, with each other.

Nodeul Island will give everyone an amazing excuse to escape and embrace the city. A landscape that bends and folds like soundwaves will combine with a new nature-rich waterfront and offer people a place to discover and express the culture of Seoul. We look forward to working with the Metropolitan Government to realise all their bold ambitions for this site.” 

Thomas Heatherwick, the founder and design director of Heatherwick Studio

Upon arriving on the island, visitors will experience a changing landscape that shifts with the tides and seasons. At ground level, there will be an arts centre and a public beach. Instead of removing the existing artificial landscape, the design will reinforce the riverbanks with natural, soft planting. The landscape will then ascend to an events podium connecting to a stunning 1.2km skywalk. This pathway will consist of small floating islets suspended in the air, offering resting spots with breathtaking views of the island and the river leading back to Seoul.

Nodeul Island concept perspective

The studio will now start work on Nodeul Island with the Metropolitan Government on the next stages of design, and visitors should be able to enjoy the new Nodeul Island in 2027.  

Nodeul Island – Images: Mir

About Damian Holmes 3313 Articles
Damian Holmes is the Founder and Editor of World Landscape Architecture (WLA). He is a registered landscape architect (AILA) working in international design practice in Australia. Damian founded WLA in 2007 to provide a website for landscape architects written by landscape architects. Connect on Linkedin at https://www.linkedin.com/in/damianholmes/