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papalampropoulos syriopoulou

spira nautilus

Status: Architectural Competition/ Seoul Metropolitan Government
Program: Yeounirau Ferry Terminal
Year: 2017
Location: Seoul, South Korea
Architect: Leonidas Papalampropoulos, Georgia Syriopoulou


The design proposal attempts to envision a new urban strategy for the area , where the Yeouinaru Ferry Terminal is part of an integrated spatial development that reshapes the public realm. In order to reinforce the spatial connectivity between the river and the city, the Terminal emerges as an "urban artifact" , a gesture that organizes the urban space and reactivates the River Han waterfront by incorporating in the design process elements from the 4 Core Projects of the Han River Cooperation Project.


spira / The project derives its spiral form from the spatial manifestation of public movement between the river and the city, an architectural promenade that extends the city's street network into the river bank. The spire becomes the geometric representation of a hybridization process where diverse urban elements, such as the street, the promenade, the terrace, the viewing platform, the terminal and the marina are fused and articulate a new urban artifact with a single gesture.

i. The Yeoui-maru axis is extended into the park at the city's level (+15.80). It is the main entrance of the promenade as it incorporates movement from the Yeoui-Naru metro station, the Yeoui-Terrace and Ari Cultural Center.

ii. The axis becomes an elevated platform that crosses the park from level +15.80 to level +14.80 (maximum flood level).

iii. After passing the coastline (offshore part of the structure) the route makes a circular turn in order to form an open public terrace that serves as a viewing platform that offers panoramic views to the city and the river.

iv. the route starts its descent (5%slope) after a half turn leading to the entrance of the terminal at level +9.90. The spiral movement formulates the volume of the terminal and articulates successively its functions [ticket office and office facilities, storage and hygiene amenities, balcony 1&2 (viewfinder), kitchen and exit gates , the commercial zone, the media room, the public "living room" and a second ticket office]


nautilus / The fictional submarine of Jules Vernes provides the conceptual framework to answer the imposing question "what the Han River is now, and what will it become in the future". The Terminal can be seen as a large viewing device not only to observe the existing scenery of the city but an opportunity to have a glimpse into the future. A large "window into the future" where the meteorization of the gaze between the pragmatic and the fictional takes place in the spiral structure during one's daydreaming.

Nautilus, the domestic vessel, can be seen as a similar device where the descent to the unknown and the anticipated can be achieved by its large circular windows in the form of a viewfinder that provides captain Nemo the necessary means to achieve his voyeurism. Nautilus windows can be related with the form of the aperture that " influences the perpetual identification of objects , and the visual tracking is a constitutive element in anarthoscopic perception the act of focusing, with its proper angles, blind spots and exposure times". In the spiral, viewfinders are spread among the structure in order to provide space for observation contemplation and relaxation.


viewing device / The terminal incorporates the two kinds of gaze:
(i) a panoramic view from the platform and the terrace
(ii) a framed view from the interior balconies (viewfinders)

urban strategy / In order for the terminal to become a new landmark for the area, the design proposes a differentiation in scale between the spiral (Yeouinaru) and the Pier Deck (Yeouijeong).
A village-typology approach is proposed for the development of Yeouijeong that attemps to form an active urban space based on the fragmentation of the initial volume.

structure / the design intergrades the upper and lower pontoon structure into one continuous structure, a kind of buoyant marine vessel ( a nautilus). A reversed double-skin dome is formulated from the geometric features of the spiral movement.


The bowl-shaped shell consists of a steel 3d truss cladded with a water tight metal skin. The lower part of the bowl incorporates the steel pontoon structure into one continuous shape. In order to ensure the floating stability of the bowl the design introduces a peripheral pontoon ring which creates a wider floating base and also functions as an outdoor connector of the marina piers.


Taking into account the flooding condition of the Han River the design adopts a resiliency approach. The buoyant structure is connected to the access bridge through a metal bridge that functions as a joint, allowing for the vertical movement of the terminal while also adjusting the slope to an accessible condition by the public during normal flood levels by rolling along the connection with the access bridge (+10,00m). During the maximum flood level period (+14,80m) access will be restricted for safety reasons.

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