The subject of the competition was not only the architectural design for the expansion and renewal of the Seoul Training Center, but it suggested a deeper reflection about the issue of temporary living combined with the TRAINING FACILITY. Since the fact that the Center should house a moltitude of guest rooms, where people can live for shorter or longer periods, and different kind of services for training and learning, the main focus was the co-existence of the two functions. This reflection led to questions, that became the starting points of the design process:

how to combine the temporary living spaces to the training functions in the same building, offering to the guests an immersive experience not an end in itself? And how to transfo rm the comple x into an att racti ve place also fo r visitors?

The answer outlines a social common space acting as the catalizing center of the entire system, linking the living premises to the training one, and allowing the socialization among the guests. The social common space would be the center of the new system , not only ideally, but even spatially. The main functions (both public and private) are placed around it, embracing people crossing through and allowing them to enforce their reciprocal relationships to be nurtured subsequently.

The main idea for the expansion of the Training Center was not that of a building simply placed above the terrain, but one literally carved into the natu ral slope of the site area, minimizing the visual impact of the new building. This led to a profoun dly integ rate d system , where the landscape plays a fundamental role. On one side, this respects the real essence of the place where the building is going to be located; on the other, it takes advantage of the inertia of the soil, leading to a more sustainable and energy efficient system .

The common public space would be very open, accessible and flexible, that would be part of the Training Center system, offering to guests and visitors different kind of services, and a place where to stay together. The ground floo r and the first basement floo r are spatially and visually connecte d, thanks to the wide openings between the two levels. Furthermore an indipendent elicoidal stair let the users to freely cross trough, enjoying the public space. The idea of highlighting the public aim of the building also was the key intent of the design for the renewal of the existing Training Center, connected to the new one thanks to a hierarchical scheme of outdoor pedestrain paths and ramps. Also in this case, the main goal to reach was the visual and spatial connection of the main levels (ground floor and first basement floor), by creating double height spaces welcoming common and att racti ve functions as the restaurant, cafè and gym spaces. Socialization among guests and visitors is highly encouraged! Our idea was not that of a regular training center, but a real social system , where it would be possible to learn and train in the dedicate d featu res as the auditorium and seminar rooms, to meet and socialize in the common areas, or to resto re and relax in the private rooms enjoying an enchanting panoramic view. The new training center aims to enhance and ease the relationship between people !


With: Arch. Erika Braun