Seoul Plaza in front of city hall is designed as a place where citizens can enjoy winter sports such as skating and curling from Christmas through February the following year.

Skating rink in Seoul Plaza has been used in the same design for the past four years. It was redesigned and opened last year (2018) through public architect proposal competition.

Project Name: Seoul Square Ice Rink
Architect Name: CoRe Architects

Seoul Square Ice Rink By CoRe Architects - Sheet19

The difference between this year’s skating rink and the previous one is that it offers a “new structural alternative” that can be installed and recycled in a short time.

The initial idea started with a light structure of a vinyl house, but it was changed to a double air-dome system during the design process so that It could be reused or recycled easily in the following year.

Light architecture

Skating rink is an architecture that is only used for one season. Previous rinks have been repeatedly built and broken at the level of permanent structure.

We propose a skating rink as a light architecture. For this purpose, a new structural method was proposed to create space and shape, using light and transparent non-structural materials that could not be used in permanent structures.

Seoul Square Ice Rink By CoRe Architects - Sheet20

The new air membrane structure

The roof of the skating rink was made up by a double air-membrane structure. The material of the structure is transparent laminated urethane and opaque laminated urethane which is flame retarded. Two layers of membranes inside and outside are pulled together by a tensile material (lightweight kernmantle rope) called para-cord, and the air is injected into the tube in between to form a membrane structure. This is a special structure designed to shorten the construction and dismantlement period due to limited use time of Seoul Plaza and to reuse next time.

The tensile material that supports the two membranes consists of about 40,000 ropes with a 30-centimeter gap, and the double air membranes create an important façade by natural lighting during the day and internal light at night.

Seoul Square Ice Rink By CoRe Architects - Sheet23

Geometric Symbolism

Our suggested skating rink consists of a combination of equilateral triangles and circles.

The triangular deck is located where citizens freely move in and out, and It is a place where the plaza, the Seoul Library, and the skating rink relate to each other.

A circular-shaped auxiliary facility that reinterprets the past in a modern way, reflects the skating rink anywhere, providing citizens with new spatial and temporal experiences, along with a roof made up of air-dome.

Seoul Square Ice Rink By CoRe Architects - Sheet24The sense of Place in Seoul Plaza

Seoul Plaza is an open space for everyone. There are enthusiastic soccer fans called “Red Devil” who get together whenever there is a national game. Also, It’s a place where different political rallies are held every minute. and collective actions are carried out, from individual citizens to groups of various personalities.

The skating rink is also open to everyone during the winter, regardless of age, race, gender, or political identity. That’s why we proposed an architecture that would be open to everyone and act like a lighthouse in the square for the duration of the rink.

CoRe Architects

CoRe Architects was founded in Seoul, led by young architects such as Yoo Jong-su and Kim Bin. We are interested in finding new types in response to construction methods, program composition, experimentation of materials, and changing social structures. We are involved in large and small-scale projects in various fields that make up cities, ranging from architecture and cities to interior and infrastructure.

Graft Object

Graft Object is a design studio based in Seoul. Our focus is to design objects of insightful and creative implications, rather than settling purely on functionality. Mainly, this process involves identifying a variety of objects around us and grafting such objects with architecture or any other field. This products produced by this attempt to change the individual’s lifestyle, and we want to be shared it with a number of people.


Taxu Lee


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