In a world where time and space seem to consist of continuous alternations between the interior and the exterior, at a time when the difference between virtual and actual space is blurred, places that actually surprise us and excel the ordinary are rare. The development of the metropolis today seems to incessantly produce series of small units to inhabit or to work in, resulting in an endless sequence of big buildings. The urban space becomes the mere result of coincidental proximities of each of these big buildings, leaving the leftover space in-between that we call the public domain. Moments where this public domain formalises and becomes public space, are thus designed as squares and parks which form the bigger units of the city – the even covered field.  Typically, there is a clear difference and hierarchy between the small unit and the big unit, between the home or working space and the public square or park. This project, however, offers an opportunity to collapse these 2 opposites in one building type and make both garden and park, city block and a complex of buildings. For the Urban Regeneration Project Site we propose to find the civic inside the buildings as a symbol of their intention to maximise: maximal park, maximal garden, maximal block, maximal exchange. The masterplan we propose installs a variety of spaces in the city. The urban layout of building and park coincide in this masterplan. Blurring the traditional boundaries between building, garden, block and unit, both park and traditional urban layout coincide, though with a different scale. At the same time the masterplan presents itself as a collection of controlled environments: interiors. As a radical proposal for a new urban environment it rethinks the city as a collection of shared interiors. The proposal is an open and formal complex that has the ambition to act as an urban catalyst for the consequential masterplan and create immediately a universe of exchange and regeneration. Its urban form encapsulates the spatial guidelines for the whole Urban Regeneration Project Site. The project combines the 4 main parts as 4 independent sides surrounding a temperate garden. In order to maximise functional flexibility we opted for a set of 4 slender buildings with open plan and circulation organised in their extremities. These buildings are elegantly juxtaposed in order to create a dense urban plan with a court where exchange – between inside and outside, and between the functional parts individually – is encouraged.  The buildings and the garden make a Crystal Palace, a climate controlled space for production, education and re-invention. Its transparent urban figure is simple and exemplary for an urban development plan of big ‘palazzi’ in a strict urban garden layout. In the future development of the Regeneration Project Site, these palazzi would define solid urban anchor points with surprising content.  Within the layout of the Palace with the central garden, the base works like an artificially induced place of interaction, with carefully positioned friezes of walkways and bridges that articulate the possibility of serendipitous encounter.  The crystal palace is a climate machine. In order to keep the atmosphere of the central garden temperate, a micromanaged system of openable - inflated - roof parts direct light and ensure the mild climate of the multi usable productive green space. The thinness of each of the sides allows for cross ventilation when needed, also, it gives each work and education space a proximity to both garden and outside. In spring and summer, the lower parts of the short sides open completely, to force ventilation and to maximise exchange with the neighbourhood. In winter the crystal palace acts as an oasis of mild production in an exceptional green controlled and shared environment. An industrial ecosystem is created with this central garden, a place as an catalyst for economic and cultural input on the site and in the neighbourhood.




Seoul, KR


Culture, Office




17 600 m2




Bollinger+Grohmann, Atmoslab

Design team

Kersten Geers, David Van Severen, Thomas Mertens, Yuichiro Onuma, Edoardo Biondetti