Gwangju, Korea (2005–2007)
Enveloping the architecture of the Asian Culture Center, the Citizen’s Park will be a destination landscape that establishes the Asian Culture Complex as the living heart of Gwangju. This new public landscape is anchored in history, yet provides an open, democratic space that accommodates the diverse recreational needs of the contemporary city. Uniquely Korean in character and strikingly contemporary, the park offers the programmatic and experiential range to draw visitors from throughout the city, region, country, and world. Rigorous technical design standards will ensure that the entire park is accessible to people of all physical abilities, managed efficiently, and durable over time, so that citizens may enjoy the park’s diverse spaces far into the future.
The park is comprised of a variety of landscape types, which together allow for a wide range of programmatic uses. Open, paved spaces, including Democracy Plaza, the Stepped Plaza, and the Grand Stair, provide flexible pedestrian areas for gatherings, events, and informal activities. The Flowering Tree Grove offers a comfortable shaded space for daytime recreation and an enchanting illuminated space for strolling at night. With lush plantings, winding paths, and a variety of open spaces, the Children’s Nature Play Environment provides a unique, child-scaled terrain for exploration and play. For large performances, the Multi-Space Events Field offers an expansive, sloped lawn with a stage area at its base. Wilder woodland areas, including the Memorial Grove and the Asian Artplex Roof, encourage quiet contemplation and an experience of nature. Throughout the site, open lightwells and courts bring living plants, light, and fresh air into the underground buildings.