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Plans unveiled for reimagining of Seoul Olympics site

Plans have been unveiled for Jamsil Sports MICE Complex, a wide-ranging development on the former site for the 1988 Olympic Games in the Korean capital of Seoul.

The development will include a 35,000-seat open-air baseball park which will be the home for two local teams, and an 11,000-seat complex capable of hosting local sport, esports, live performances and other events.

The complex has been designed by global architecture firm Populous, which will direct the project from its Asia-Pacific headquarters in Queensland, Australia.

As part of the plans, the 35-hectare site will be reimagined into a A$2.4bn (£1.4bn/€1.6bn/$1.8bn) urban development. The Hanwha E&C consortium has been selected by the Seoul Metropolitan Government to carry out the work, with Populous to be responsible for the overall masterplan and architectural concept design for the venues.

A new convention centre with over 100,000 square metres of exhibition halls, pre-function spaces, meeting rooms, a concert hall, commercial offerings and ballrooms will also be built.

Additional features will include a 3,000-seat indoor underground swimming pool, a five-star hotel with over 300 rooms, a four-star business hotel with 300 rooms, 123,000 square metres of cultural and commercial retail space, and a 300-room serviced residence and hotel tower.

Initiatives around the development of smart cities were incorporated into the design, with innovative solutions for future mobility such as urban airborne mobility and drone-flying provisions.

The project also features sustainable design solutions such as high-performing green rooftops, biotope installations of living plants and animals, a solar screening device, restoration and preservation of the former site, and utilisation of existing facilities.

The development will look to respect the heritage of the existing Olympic Stadium and the ongoing local community use. Construction on the project is expected to begin in the second half of 2023.

Paul Henry, managing director for Populous in the Asia-Pacific region, said: “Jamsil Sports MICE Complex will become a unique landmark tying together state-of-the-art sporting facilities with world-leading provisions for meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions, along with cultural experiences celebrating the legacy of the Olympic history of the site.

“The unifying power and the dynamics of the Olympics will bring together the concepts of sport, education and culture to express a notion of accessibility and connection for all.”

Jamsil Sports MICE Complex will be the third project for Populous in South Korea, alongside Changwon NC Park, which opened in March 2019, and Incheon Asiad Main Stadium, which hosted the opening and closing ceremony of the Asian Games in 2014.

In October, construction commenced on a 1.8 trillion won (£1.12bn/€1.34bn/$1.47bn) project in Seoul that aims to introduce South Korea’s first arena complex dedicated to K-pop concerts.

Located in Goyang, a satellite city of Seoul in Gyeonggi Province, the CJ LiveCity Arena will open its doors in 2024 with an indoor seating capacity of 20,000, plus outdoor space for more than 40,000 other music fans to enjoy concerts. CJ LiveCity is working with AEG on the project.

Images: Populous