PhD Students Awarded Honorable Prize in Incheon International Urban Design Competition 2009      July 30,2009

Off-Grid City Competition:
(2009 Incheon International Urban Design Competition, South Korea)
Mr. Ali Kashkooli a PhD researcher of Architecture and Structural Engineering at School of Architecture, The University of Sheffield, UK, as a team leader and his other team members awarded Honorable Prize in Incheon International Urban Design Competition 2009:

1. Introduction

Undoubtedly, the 2009 Incheon International Urban Design Competition aims to contribute the transformation of Incheon Metropolitan City into a world-class city, which is capable to carry out functions and roles commensurate to such status. Moreover, it goals to consider the current urban issues for the city.

The main theme of this competition is a futuristic U-Eco Community where new technologies, the environment, and people are being organized in acceptable harmonies.

So, the main design principles of this competition are:

l    Ubiquitous City; which can be defined as striving for convenience and safety in life by introducing very new and fresh IT technologies. This in turn, is considered a main concern of this competition.

l    Environment-friendly city; which means to design based on causing the lowest damages into the environment and saving the natural resources.

l    Communal city; which enhances its locality and acts as an educational platform for future generations.

2. Overview of the city and site

l    A brand new city, which roles as the new gateway to East Asia. Thus, in its design it deals with the people who will ‘live and work’ in it. People who will experience an paralleled quality of life as technology, resources and innovation all come together to create the ideal environment.

l    The perfect location: convenience and accessibility are two important factors in determining the new Songdo city. Hence, its location is a key aspect of what makes this city so unique. Nestled in the heart of East Asia’s economic region-40 miles south of Seoul- the Songdo is minutes away from an international airport. While, one third of the world’s population (China) is located in a 3.5 hour flight away. Hence, it is highly desirable to set the city as an essential centre for free trade and international business.

l    A city of the future potential: Songdo is supposed to be a symbol of Korea’s role as a major force in today’s global economy. A new city as the newest financial and logistics hub for North-East Asia. Furthermore, most education bodies will be international and keep up with global standard. Thus, it will give high standard education for Korea’s future capability.

l    The basic concepts for development on the Songdo city are: To develop this area as a foundation for multinational corporations’ Asia-pacific head-quarters and international businesses; To concentrate and intensify advanced knowledge-based industries; To create an international business centre that includes convention centres and exhibition sites; And to plan and develop an environment-friendly city.

l    The competition site is located in the part of area 11, Songdo, Incheon Free Economic Zone and the area is approximately 1,677,704 m² and this site will be playing the role of the waterside centre of the new Songdo city.

3. The Off- Grid City

The ‘Off-Grid’ can be defined as a city which does not rely on municipal water supply, swear, natural gas, electrical power grid, or similar utility services. Thus, the Off-Grid city could run itself by some systems such as, generate electricity (from sun, wind, biomass and waste), heat (from sun and geothermal resources), and water (from rainwater harvesting and grey water) recycling for any water uses except drinking water.  

3-1: The Ubiquitous City

4 A's: Anywhere, Anyone, Anything and Anytime

U-city allows information exchange ‘anywhere’ (at work, at home, within or outside the city), and makes technology accessible and usable for ‘anyone’ (regarding gender, physical capacity, or age). It also provides residents with the capability to connect with ‘anything’ (with the use of intelligent home appliances, and communication devices), and all of these can be done ‘anytime’.

U-Cities will be a showcase of the most sophisticated technologies available in the market such as radio frequency identification (RFID) systems, smart cards applications, geographic information systems (GIS), location based systems (LBS), sensor-based computing, wireless communication devices, home networking, digital multimedia broadcasting and video conference technologies, just to name a few. Figure 3 shows how ubiquitous system in normal activity of city life.

3-2: Environment-Friendly City/Sustainable City

Essentially, Sustainability can be defined as all methods and approaches in all branches of knowledge, which are aiming to decrease the waste of energy, money, time, and natural resources. Accordingly, it is based on three factors as ‘environment’, ‘economy’, and ‘society’.

ENVIRONMENT

Balance between conserving and protecting the environment and using renewable resources

ECONOMY

Create equitable but viable economic systems with an ethical basis

SOCIETY

Encourage equitability and responsibility within social and cultural systems and values

      Three key points of Sustainable developments, Source: DWN by Authors

To be an environmentally friendly city, it should meet the following criteria: energy efficiency and use of clean renewable energy, green buildings, green transportation, ecologically friendly, water management, waste management, social harmony, and Heritage conservation. All systems and concepts for the city can be found on design poster as following signs.

4- Design Procedure

            The design procedure in this project has been done in 3 stages:

1-Research stage, data collection and different analysis as: site analysis (location, topographical feature, environmental situation), cultural analysis (traditions, customs, and handicrafts), historical analysis (East Asia, Korea, Inchon: political history, urban planning, and architecture), economic analysis (Korea, Inchon: economic classes and zoning), Material and technical analysis (local construction materials, vernacular architecture)

2-Design stage:

a. Theoretical design, and brain storming; analyzing the requirements of the project (investors and users)

b. Design in action; at this stage based on the results of previous phases sketching in real scales has been started. Thus, established on the basic guide lines of the land-use, framework of units has been sketched up, and the master plan of project has been established.

Following the design of Songdo master plan the different units has been designed for aforementioned project. Furthermore, all the buildings have been designed to provide their own energy from sources as: wind, solar energy, recycling the waste of materials.

To continue, the report deals with describing each unit as follows:

4-1: Dragon Village

                A principal goal of this project is to provide some potential in the region to attract the commercial activities and business prospective. This in turn, improves the need of having some residential apartments for local and international business men. Moreover, this complex should be supposed as a sign for this site, and a representative of high-tech life-style with a Korean sole.

·  Shape: The general shape of this complex has been reflected from a traditional symbol in Korea and East Asia, which has a deep history and a large number of stories and legends; the ‘Dragon’.

In terms of sun orientation the complex has been organized in site in such way that most of the parts of it are facing the direct sun shine. Moreover, in some parts there are some cuts and differences in height of building to let the other parts -in the back- get the sun light and the view of sea.

·  Green design: In terms of energy and green design, all the building tops have been designed as green-roofs to decrease the use of energy in heating and cooling systems. Moreover, wind turbines and PV panels to provide the energy of buildings. 

4-2: Songdo Tower

Undoubtedly, high-rise buildings are the phenomenon of new high-tech life style and a symbol of development, power and technology. Thus, ‘Songdo Tower’ can be considered as a sign for a high-tech city as ‘Sondo’.

Shape: From aesthetical view, the general shape of ‘Songdo Tower’ is taken from typical style of traditional Korean women dressing.

·  Structure: Established on the seismic situation of region and the high potential of earthquake, the structure of this building is designed as a mixture of ‘Core high-rise’ and ‘bridge high-rise’[1] structural system.

The approach of indirect transmission of vertical forces into the foundation,

Thus, in those terms a ‘High active’ structural system[2] has been employed (Fig 9). Hence, a core structured by armed concrete load-bearing walls has been designed in the center of tower, which handles the tensions of earthquake as the body of tree, and the slabs of floors has been connected to it by beams, and cantilevers. Moreover, the body of building has been designed in such way that by enhancing the high the size of building is being smaller.

Thus, in terms of structure, these considerations can provide a strong resistant in building against earthquake, and wind power.

·  Safety and fire: In contrast with many high-rise buildings around the world, In terms of fire or other hazards which lead the residents to vacant the building, this building has been designed in such way that there are several places in different floors for helicopters and rescue teams to land. Hence, the procedure of rescuing will be easier and more efficient.

·  Green design: In terms of energy efficiency and eco-build, all the energy for building services is being provided by solar energy (PV panels). Moreover, to decline the use of energy for heating and cooling a green façade has been suggested for some parts of building.

4-3: Songdo Mall

·  Shape: From aesthetical view, the general shape of ‘Songdo mall’ is taken from ‘Caterpillar’, which can be considered as a sort of ‘Bionic design’[3]. Accordingly, it has got the potential for future ‘linear development’[4] by adding new urban areas.

·  Green design: In terms of energy efficiency and eco-build, all the energy for building services is being provided by solar energy (PV panels), and wind turbines. Moreover, to decline the use of energy for heating and cooling green roofs have been suggested for all parts of building.

4-4: Songdo Village

·  Function: This section has been designed as residensial area (Appartments), and aims to reside the midle economic class of people and students. 

·  Shape: The general organization of this unit has been designed based on most efficient sun orientation. This in turn, declines the use of enrgy in heating during the cold seasons.

·  Green design: In terms of energy efficiency and green-design, all the energy for building services is expected to be provided by solar energy (PV panels), and wind turbines which will be installed on top of buildings. Moreover, to decrease the use of energy for heating and cooling green roofs have been suggested for all parts of building.

4-5: Songdo Eco-Comunity

·  Function: This section has been designed as turistic villas.  

·  Shape: The general organization of this unit has been designed based on East Asian style of high-tech buildings. Moreover, the villas and their landscapes have been organized enstabilished on the shape of ‘Dragon village’as a fundomental part of this site, in order to keep unity in plan. Furthermore, in detail each villa has been place in such way that attracts the most solar energy.

·  Green design: In terms of energy efficiency and green-design, all the energy for building services is expected to be provided by solar energy (PV panels), and wind turbines which will be installed in different places of landscape. Moreover, to decrease the use of energy for heating and cooling green roofs have been suggested for all the villas.

4-6:Songdo Research and Cultural Park

This section has been design in two parts:

a. The research centre , including libraries, training classes, museums, Seminar rooms, conference halls, cafés and restaurants.

b.      The auditorium including cinemas, theatre halls, sport centres, cafés and restaurants.

·  Shape: the general shape of ‘Songdo research and cultural park’ is based on a concept in East Asian building styles which is ‘Two dimensional developments’[5]. Accordingly, it has mixed the features of high-tech design with cultural and vernacular parameters of region.

·  Green design: In terms of energy efficiency and environmental friendly design, all the energy for building services is being provided by solar energy (PV panels), and wind turbines, which are recommended to be installed on top of buildings. Moreover, to decline the use of energy for heating and cooling green roofs have been suggested for all parts of building. Furthermore, in terms of ‘natural ventilation’ and sun orientation the building is designed based on ‘courtyards’ and openings in different areas.

7- Songdo Industrial park

This section has been design in three parts:

a. Industrial areas, which has been designed to be use for IT industries (Fig14).

b. On the top of industrial building, three floors have been designed for official use of industrial areas.

·  The parking section, designed to provide parking spaces for industrial park Shape: the general shape of ‘Songdo industrial park’ is based on dynamic form in wavy roofs, which reveals electric and energetic function of this section. Furthermore, it is recommended to decrease the number of columns in future structural design. This in turn, can improve the usability of building in terms of storing and initial movements, and also the possibilities for future functional changes.

·  Green design: In terms of energy efficiency and environmental friendly design, all the energy for building services is being provided by wind turbines-which are recommended to be installed on top of roofs- , and recycling the waste of materials. Moreover, to decline the use of energy for heating and cooling green roofs have been suggested for all parts of building.

Summary In summary, Off-Grid City can be considered as a piece of urban, architectural, and technological design, which includes several solutions in terms of energy efficiency and waste management, as well as original cultural values of location, and contemporary requirements of high-tech 21st century life-style.

Moreover, it represents the Zero Carbon, Zero Energy, and Zero Waste attitude in different urban space with various functions as: Residential, Industrial, business commercial, research, cultural and shopping spaces.

Thus, the project won an ‘Honorable Prize’ award in 2009 Incheon Urban Design Competition.

[1] The distinction of height-structures does not depend upon a specific mechanism of redirecting forces as in the case of the other four structure ‘families’. From this perspective the ‘structure families’ are as follows:

1-       Grid high-rise buildings;

2-       Casing high-rise buildings;

3-       Core high-rise buildings;

4-       Bridge high-rise buildings.

Moreover, sometimes a high-rise building can be a mixture of two or more of these families.               

[2] High active structural systems are based on indirect transmitting the forces of building into foundations.

[3] Bionic design is defined as designing based on the solutions of nature.

[4] Development in horizontal side in a linear organization.

[5] Two dimensional developments are defined as developing the urban areas and building s in horizontal (XY) side.

 
Team Members / Authors:
1- Ali Kashkooli, (team-leader) Architect- PhD Researcher of Architecture, and Industrial Designer, School of Architecture, The University of Sheffield, United Kingdom. (From Iran)
2- YoungKi Kim, Architect- PhD Researcher of Architecture, School of Architecture, The University of Sheffield, United Kingdom. (From South Korea)
3- Xi Wang, Architect- PhD Researcher of Architecture, School of Architecture, The University of Sheffield, United Kingdom. (From China)
4- Aleksandar Dajkovic: Architect- Visiting Master Student of Architecture, The University of Montenegro. (From Montenegro)

The Academic Supervisor of Project: Dr. Hasim Altan - Lecturer and Director of Taught Masters Architecture, and Head of Building Environments Analysis Unit (BEAU), School of Architecture, The University of Sheffield, United Kingdom.

Outside Links::
http://www.shef.ac.uk/architecture/about/news/2009/july/news1.html
http://www.iudc.or.kr

Prepared by:  Majid Falamaki








 
Outside Links :

http://www.shef.ac.uk
http://www.iudc.or.kr

 
 
 
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