Taekwando Park


Muju, South Korea


The Taekwondo Park competition is a master plan proposal for the Taekwondo World Cultural Heritage Center set in the Korean mountains of Muju County. The design approach is inspired by the site itself, growing out of the natural opportunities found in the park’s dramatic mountainous features. Containing facilities for tourists, Taekwondo students, Taekwondo professionals and Federation administrators, the buildings and outdoor program spaces are connected organically within valleys and along ridges balancing and blurring the distinctions between nature and culture.

The arrangement of programmatic elements grows out of the natural contours of the site: the cleared agricultural valleys providing ideal locations for large scale tourist destinations, while the hillsides and ridges offer natural locations for the smaller scale and contemplative program elements associated with the Taekwondo masters. Taking its cues from traditional Korean architecture where building is sited within the grain of the landscape, new architectural interventions grow out of the topography: spanning, terracing, burrowing into, and wrapping existing landscape features to provide spaces for building programs.

The connective landscape is taken from the local agricultural practice of terracing. Valley terraces follow the natural contours of the escarpments like contour plowing, a classic feature of agriculture in southern Korea. To enhance the balance between nature and culture, the Park will be sustainable, producing its own energy, collecting and using its own rainwater, and growing its own food. This competition was done in association with Hargreaves Associates.

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