Engagement in Sejong: Interiors by Diller Scofidio + Renfro

Walkable city – through the eyes of an architect

The structure is composed of many cells: each cell acts as a walking space, walking down the hallway. The station has a couple of entrances: one facing the on-site Trumbei airport, the other a broad, stone-enclosed entrance. We wanted to create a walkable, light, lively space, like a living landscape or a living architecture. Even though the train station is a prefabricated structure, we wanted to make a concrete building that has a concrete presence, and a concrete silhouette in your city.


The main floor consists of a commercial building: tented with green walls. It’s filled with electrical cables and switches. So I wanted to have a kind of intergenerational space and to create a space that functions very nicely to make the commercial area easily accessible by older people, but also to encourage young people to come in and to be engaged.

The commercial area has spaces for 5,000 people and the four floors that make up the station have elevators, public spaces and facilities. The station has nine floors – two each of concourse, retail and the executive floors. The concourse has been covered with a very soft fabric.

The retail is created by huge prefabricated pods. When the customer enters, the retail space reflects the logo, store and product. With the tenants’ credit cards, the retailers receive a [punching] card card and sign the magnetic strip. This allows them to then associate their branding with the product or the logo or the logo or the branding.

Rooms that move by mobile air-flooring

The floors for the executive floors move by mobile air-flooring. When I learned about the new phenomenon of the mobile floors, I thought it could be a nice technological solution for the people who work in the building. At the same time, I was happy to show how accessible design is for different social groups.

Photograph: Cho Sang-won/Panos Pictures

Tenants of the other floors in the building come in and out by the escalators that we installed. There are two types of escalators. One escalator is that you walk on, and is entirely free, and you take a small step on the steps. The other escalator we installed is like the elevators: the elevator buttons are superimposed in a doorway and your move is mapped to a step on the escalator.

The promenade

The promenade is very different from what we expected. We had to sacrifice many important features in order to make the building comfortable for people.

When we thought we would have staff cars in there, we found out that the government wouldn’t allow for taxis to bring their cars there. Also, the government doesn’t allow a lot of trees to grow within a transport hub, so we had to find other ways to connect to the public spaces. We had to offer certain features that are not accessible to people with disabilities or the elderly.

We felt that it was important to make the ordinary interesting – to provide aesthetic steps to make people feel that the city is alive and a part of their daily lives.

In the future, we expect that with this kind of new technology we will be able to make buildings out of recyclable materials and what would otherwise be thrown away. By design, [it] is possible to cover our cities with materials that we would take out and throw away. We have been able to make every government department collect used materials.

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