Global Studio (2023): Bridging the Megacity

Explore interesting ideas on the new future of Seoul

Bridging the Megacity by Curator: Leif Høgfeldt Hansen Photo: WAYD.Seoul Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism

“Bridging the Megacity” is a testament to the power of human creativity and collaborative vision. Comprising 65 architectural designs of bridges from 30 universities worldwide, this exhibition is more than a collection of architectural projects; it is a testament from professors and young students to the shared determination to reshape our urban future. 

Global Studios by Curator: Leif Høgfeldt Hansen Photo: WAYD.Seoul Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism

The universities have been given three sites on the Han River as their focus points for the design of bridges, which are Noeul Park, Nodeul Island and Seoul Forest. 'Bridging the Megacity' addresses the complex web of challenges that define the modern megacity of tomorrow. The designed bridges are not just physical connections over the Han River; they embody the multifaceted solutions that our cities demand for the future. 

What form and function should the Han River Bridge City, connecting Nanji Hangang Park and Mount Jeungmi, emblematic of Seoul's modern history, assume? This question lies at the intersection of Seoul's expansive growth and the imperative to conserve its natural environment. Given the complex relationship between the sprawling metropolis and environmental preservation, what balanced alternatives warrant exploration? - Korea University

Seoul had been lasting more than thousands of years in harmony with the nature. However, over the past 100 years, the city’s environment has been severely damaged due to the urbanization and industrialization. How can we make Seoul more sustainable for the next 100 years? - Kyonggi University

Monash University (MADA) by Professor: Mel Dodd, Haewon Shin Assistant: Seonju Kim Graphic Designer: Hyein Jeon Students: William Cupido, Ashley Ho, Tom Inglis, Ryana Ishaq, Anna Nasioulas, Leura Smith, Chailyn D’Souza, Claire Knight, YangHan Lin, Giane Montano, Yuetan Xiao, Jacky WongSeoul Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism

Riverscape Habitation

Monash University (MADA)

This project explores (in)-habitation along Han River, South Korea. Applying transdisciplinary principles of architecture, landscape, and urban design, guided by site-specific spatial concepts.

Aalto University by Professor: Pirjo Sanaksenaho, Esa Ruskeepää, Kristian Forsberg, Tuuli Kanerva, Tuomas Martinsaari Students: Tytti Rajainmäki, Janne Wirman, Niko Toivonen, Maija Kenttämies, Kasper Luoma, Lines Hakari, Arttu Hintikka, Eeva Immonen, Aamos Saarenoja, Rakel Päivinen, Elli-Noora Asplund, Nora Petersen, Sanna Lehti, Aaro Lustman, Eeva Hemming, Kajsa Lindholm, Jaakko Hippinen, Laura Salminen, Amos Soininen, Alexander Björkman, Simon Örnberg, Robert Knuts, Peetu Särkkö, Aino Silvennoinen, Samuel Hautamäki, Polina Rogova, Jussi Ojala, Olli Erlund, Aarne Autio, Aino Vaarno, Minni Auranen, Matilda Lavinkoski, Henry Lång, Tiina Hietanen, Lauri Urala, Tom Henriksson, Amanda Puerto-Lichtenberg, Aune Nieminen, Juho Ronni, Janita Päivinen, Kristian Jokinen, Saara Miettunen, Nona Linnanmäki, Catrin Edlund, Heidi Siren, Kaisa Vehkaperä, Saimi Eromäki, Sara Soimasuo, Karoliina Lehtinen, Anni Partanen Support: Alfred Kordelin Foundation, Nordic Council of Ministers, Aalto University School of Arts Design and Architecture, Koskisen Oyj Credits: Aalto University main building © 2023 Esa Ruskeepää, Aalto University Department of Architecture © 2023 Esa Ruskeepää, Seoul Forest, Apgujeong-dong © 2023 Leif Hansen, Scale model 1:500 © 2023 Kristian Jokinen, Peetu Särkkö, Project images by the authors, engraved view of London (Claes Visscher, 1616) © 2008, Study for Maximum Mass Permitted by the 1916 New York Zoning Law (Hugh Ferriss, 1922) © 2017Seoul Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism

Bridging the Megacity

Aalto University

[Alto University presented a master plan intentionally pursuing simplicity, connecting Seongsu-dong, Oksu-dong, and Gangnam-gu.]

Politecnico di Milano by Professor: Ico Migliore, Paolo Giacomazzi Assistant: Rossella Forioli, Viola Incerti Students: Giuseppe Addati, Alice Bazzucco, Lorenzo Sardella, Ala Zhyvulka Students: Wenwen Liu, Veronica Piunti, Yue Zhao, Yue Wanquing Students: Pietro Bolazzi, Michele Guglielmi, Sofia Leoni, Jiahang Li Students: Sofia Favaro, Zohreh Golreihan, Rahaman Rafi Hussain Fazalu, Ravi Jitendrabhai Shapariya Students: Michela Amerato, Irene Baldi, Claudia De Piccoli, Annalisa De Simone, Alice Sinigaglia Students: Sri Vidhyambika Balasubramaniam Thangaraj, Carola Caputo, Maria Antonia Salvioni, Yuxuan ZhaoSeoul Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism

Back to Nature

Politecnico di Milano

The bridge comprises 13 dodecahedron-shaped modules that resemble a skeleton structure, joined together thanks to magnetic fields, allowing the bridge to float on the river. Three of them host the stages where the main activities of the bridge take place and represent the three moments of the assembly line related to the food topic. 

Breathing Bridge

The Breathing Bridge is a modular structure designed as an organic living being which can keep, process and transform the "Gi", the source energy of the city and all beings. 

The shapes and curves of the components and the overall landscape draw inspiration from the nature of South Korea, from mountains to hills and lakes. On the surface, by the conformation of the modules, the citizens can perform free body movements, climbing the hills, cycling and camping. Events can take place in the form of festivals; entertainment performances, and holograms are shown.

Memorial to Life

In Korean culture, water and bridges symbolize life and death. Bridges connect distant places, representing the journey from earthly to spiritual. Water's flow mirrors life's cycle. This project places a bridge between green banks, a memorial honouring life, the living, and the departed. 

 It's a serene space for personal reflection. Focused on a fading element, cemeteries, our design modernizes the concept. The inviting space encourages visits for remembrance and introspection, rejecting sorrow for celebration. As technology records memories, two parts endure after death: the body and saved experiences. The bridge thrives on the deceased's ashes, fostering immersive nature. Here, loved ones' memories come alive, connecting visitors to the past.


The Hangang River in Seoul holds historical and cultural significance. Envisioned as a nexus for connectivity and nature engagement, the proposed bridge links the city's banks, offering a platform to relish Seoul's beauty and the Han River. Reflecting Korea's advancement and eco-commitment, it integrates efficient technology, endorsing green values and an urban escape.

Chirping Bridge

The Chirping Bridge in Seoul is an ornithological park museum spanning the Hangang River. It aims to be a bird-friendly oasis, highlighting migratory patterns, expanding green spaces, and raising urban bird awareness. 

Puriflow Harvest

The Puriflow Harvest is a nexus of technology and nature, restoring human connection with the environment. Focused on water's renewal, the project cleanses the Han River using graphene nanoparticles, revitalizing Seoul's water supply for both consumption and leisure. 

University of Tokyo by Professor: Manabu Chiba, Tetsuki Nakakura, Yoshihiro Fukushima Students: Chu Xiao, Hanna Xu, Indira Melo, Jiro Akita, Junyang Peng, Katharina Finckh, Kei Kutsuwa, Pjotr Nikolaj Janson, Simon BrobäckSeoul Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism

The Han Gang Intertwined Terrain

University of Tokyo

The Han Gang Intertwined Terrain is a three-lane bridge connecting the areas of Haneul-park in the north and the Gangseo residential area in the south. Tokyo University has taken notice of Seoul as a vast city attracting young professionals with a new nomadic lifestyle and contemplates how this new topography, spanning the Han River, can adapt to such social circumstances. 

The Oslo School of Architecture and Design – AHO by Professor: Lone Sjøli, Ana Betancour Assistants: Einar Bjarki Malmquist, Jaime Montes Cooperation: Ana Betancour & Carl-Johan Vesterlund, University of Arts, Crafts and Design, Stockholm Students: Anna Bayona Visiedo, Anne Lise Lizcano Ladegård, Hadrian Hadri, Nina Leonie Jäcker, Nora Marie, Bogegård Kilstad, Ysabela Louise Ariem RamirezSeoul Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism

Spaces of Commons

The Oslo School of Architecture and Design – AHO

The Architecture and Design Laboratory at Oslo School of Architecture and Design addresses the global systemic crisis encompassing ecological, economic, and social dimensions. Focused on the concept of Commons, which includes shared physical and cultural resources, the studio explores creating communal spaces to navigate climate challenges.

Singapore University of Technology and Design SUTD by Professor: Calvin Chua Students: Danesh Ajith, Corliss Tay, Jiyoon KangSeoul Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism

(Re)Connecting Seoul

Singapore University of Technology and Design SUTD

This project aims to revitalise Seoul's core by enhancing the Nodeul Island and Hangang Bridge connection. This pivotal location links northern cultural landmarks to southern residential and institutional zones. Despite its significance, the bridge is a basic crossing, leaving a gap in the city's fabric. plan enriches this spine by crafting a crossing that offers diverse experiences, bridging the river's two sides. 

Ewha Womans University by Professor: Klaas Kresse Students: Park Si Young, Lee Ji Yeon, Noh Soo Yeon, Gregert Leon Students: Seyeon Kim, Jeehee Kim, Yewon Park, Yunju Cha Students: Gaeun Kim, Lina Haase, Catherine HoSeoul Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism

WAVE to Change

Ewha Womans University

The floating bridge “WAVE to change“ establishes a pedestrian crossing that connects the populated southern district Gangseo with Nanji Hangang Park on the north side of the Han River. The project's primary goal is to provide a unique and accessible crossing option for pedestrians and cyclists alike.

Re; Born

Ewha Womans University

This is a project aiming to transform Seoul by revitalising water resources, creating green spaces, and addressing pressing issues. Water scarcity and flooding risks, exacerbated in Korea, are key concerns. 

The Connection

Ewha Womans University

'The Connection' is a transformative project emphasising human interaction in a technology-dominated era. It Knotted: Boundary to Centeraims to rejuvenate interpersonal bonds by creating a communal space for diverse individuals. Positioned between Seongsu and Dongho bridges adjacent to Seoul Forest, this bridge symbolises unity and efficient transit. Its woven design metaphorically interlaces people, fostering empathy and knowledge exchange. 

Hanyang University by Professor: Jina Park, Donghyun Kim Students: Younghwan Ahn, Gyuna Hwang, Wonsun Park, Youngju Lee, Hyunkyung Choi, Lihua LingSeoul Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism

Knotted: Boundary to Center

Hanyang University

Historically, South Korea's Han River, a strategic boundary point, has transformed due to urbanisation, dividing Seoul. Hanyang University aims to re-envision the Han River as a central hub by converting it into a space that brings citizens together. 

Hanyang University ERICA by Professor: So Young Kim Students: Dongyoon Lee, Hangyeol Nam, Hyeneung Kim, Kyungjin Yang, Minseong Kim Students: Byungwook Han, Danbi Lee, Heegyeong Yun, Jieun Im, Minhyeok ChoiSeoul Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism


Hanyang University ERICA

This is a visionary bridge concept based on Seoul striving for a green future to combat global climate change, exemplified by Windscape. This bridge harnesses wind energy, powering Nodeul Island and its vicinity while fostering research and education. Six turbines and centres, linked by verdant tracks, rise elegantly from the Han River. Neon lights accentuate its modern design and disc-shaped structures house learning spaces. 


Hanyang University ERICA

Seongsudong and Apgujeong, Seoul neighbourhoods, differ vastly. Seongsudong boasts green spaces, while Apgujeong lacks them. Hanyang University aims to create a pedestrian-friendly bridge connecting two different sides while also forming a zoo. 

Korea University by Professors: Won ChungYeon, Yi ChongKul Students: Kim Junhyung, Kang Kimin, An ByeongYeon, Lee Junho, Kim Nayeon, Shin Hyeyeong, Cho JaeWonSeoul Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism

Acclimatizing Syntheti-City

Korea University

The 'Syntheti-City' concept presupposes a hypothetical scenario in which a deliberately constructed city gradually evolves into a resilient urban environment through symbiotic interactions with the natural milieu. This project envisions the imagination for a new future city where man-made and natural elements harmoniously coexist and perpetuate sustainable relationships. 

Kyonggi University by Professor: Jeonhee Ryu Assistant: Junseok Kim Students: Daeyoon Koh, Hayoon Kim, Heewoo Choi, Jinyoung Ye, Miran Jeon, Sanghyeok Hwang, Sooyeong Lee, Youngjun Moon, Yusu Park Professor: Eunkyeong Song Students: Wonwoo Bae, Yeorim Han, Yejun Hwang, Doyun Kim, Minyeong Lee, Jaewon Lee, Joowon Sung, Juseong Yu Professor: Heesung Baek Students: Yeongkyeong Jeong, Chaeyeon Son, Sumin Kim, Gayeon Park, Seungmin Son, Subin Gwon, Gibeom Chun, Seunhyeok Lee Professor: Yoon beom Kim Students: Seo young Kim, Ye bin Kim, Eun Kim, Jong won Kim, Ju chan Park, Hyeon sik Lee, Ho sung Jung, Cheol min Cho, Jun seok Cha Professor: Hyunsil Lee Students: Seohyun Park, Jewoo Bae, Kijun Song, Jisoo Lee, Yujin Jeon, Seungkyu Jung, Euihyun Jung, Seoyeon Han, Jaewon HwangSeoul Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism

On the ‘Bridge of Resilience'

Kyonggi Universtiy

Seoul had been lasting more than thousands of years in harmony with the nature. However, over the past 100 years, the city’s environment has been severely damaged due to the urbanization and industrialization. Instead of building another habitat on the Han River, Kyonggi Universtiy suggests to design a ‘Bridge of Resilience’ which grows with nature and where we can restore and harmonize with the values of the Ecosystem.

Pusan National University by Professor: Lawrence Kim Students: Donghyun Go, Narin Kim, Junghoon Lee, Yeunji Nam, Junhwi Park, Geunchul Park, Sungcheul Shin, Jayoung Son, Dongjae RyuSeoul Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism

A Walk in the Clouds

Pusan National University

Pusan National University's design of a new Seongsu Bridge, connecting Seoul Forest and Apgujeongdong, is a transformative project. The design envisions a multi-tiered urban oasis atop and below the bridge. The plan features five layers: a ferry platform, parking, lanes, a floating park, and vertical farms, each linked by four cores.

Yonsei University by Professor: Sangyun Lee Assistant: Hyunsub Lim Students: Soojong Han, Jeanwoo Jeong, Jiyeong Kim, Soomin Kim, Sua Kim, Yeana Kim, Yooseok Kim, Jae Lee, Young Oh, Jin Ha, Chaewan Park, Hyeonseo Park, Sooyeon ParkSeoul Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism

Macro/ Micro City with or without Seongsu Bridge

Yonsei University

The Seongsu Bridge is more than a structure—it embodies our values, spanning land and water. Its significance varies with each observer. Such is our approach to design. Our journey commences with personal manifestos, born from introspection on the Han River and Seongsu Bridge. 

Cooper Union by Professor: Nima Javidi Advisor: Behnaz Assadi, Landscape and Ecology Students: Jihoo Ahn, Razaq Alabdulmughni, Jaemin Baek, Laela Baker, Aerin L. Chavez, Jiyong Chung, Martina Duque, Alex J. Han, Annie He, Jiwon Heo, Rebecca Anne John, Jade ZhangSeoul Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism

Hybrid Mats | Bridging Over Han River - Ecology, Structure, Accessibility

Cooper Union

The studio investigates the possibilities of a new paradigm for bridges. A paradigm that moves away from the entangled relationship between structure and path configurations and uses the absence of vehicular traffic in the prompt to explore a fine grain montage between patterns of ecology, structure and human settlement to create a thick yet light new constructed layered ground over Han River.

University of Hawai’i by Professor: Clark E. Llewellyn Advisors: Ferdinand Johns, Marion Fowlkes, Stephan S. Huh Visiting Critics: Zaw Latt, Young Nam, Christian Bergum Students: Chunya Wu, Yiwei Lu, Matthew Lawson, Jiaqi Xu, Siwei SuSeoul Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism

Mountain of Balance

University of Hawai’i

The Mountain of Balance is a project that learns from its context, spans centuries of history and innovation, and imagines a sustainable, equitable, and pleasantly familiar future. Learning from Seoul, its history, its natural splendor, and its current conditions has created an inspiring place from which we have imagined a future that is better for the city, its people, and its wildlife.

Credits: Story

Curator: Leif Høgfeldt Hansen
Venue: Songhyeon Green Plaza
Participating Schools: Kyonggi University, Korea University, University of Tokyo, University of Rome Sapienza, Meiji University, Monash University (MADA), Montana State University, Politecnico di Milano, Bengal Institute for Architecture, Bond University, Pusan National University, San Francisco Academy of Art University, Sydney University of Technology, Singapore University of Technology and Design SUTD, Iowa State University, University of Alicante, Aalto University, Yonsei University, Aarhus School of Architecture, The Oslo School of Architecture and Design, The Ohio State University, Ewha Womans University, Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile​, Cooper Union, Tongji University, Pratt Institute, University of Hawaii, Hanyang University, Hanyang University ERICA

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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