Saemangeum Island City

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Satellite image of the 34 km seawall enclosing a fresh water lake of approximately 400
Saemangeum area boundary superimposed on Greater London map.
Saemangeum Seawall, photo: Philip Christou, 2008.
Early design sketch view looking from Byunsanbando National Park looking north over the Island City.
A courtyard of a Farm Ensemble. Here farming activities will sustain and support argi-tourism and farm stays for families and school parties.
Floriculture in the city: tourists Holidaying in Saemangeum visit a tulip farm located in close proximity to the airport.
A test field for various agricultural and floricultural crops on newly reclaimed land along the north side of the Donjin River in Saemangeum.
Testing Cambridge Quadrangles on Central Island.
Sketch of Barcelona Cerda blocks and main avenue on Bridge Island at Saemangeum.
Image Island: One of the main destinations for tourists and citizens, a picturesque image island at the heart of Saemangeum makes visible the beautiful process of building islands to visitors arriving by boat.
Saemangeum Island City, Synthesis Plan. This drawing brings together the ideas of a Landscape Infrastructure of Islands; our research about City Structures; and the size and spatial relationships between the City Magnets, or Cities within the Island City.
Harbour City: a cluster of sea ports, lake harbours and marinas with dense city on both sides of the Sea Wall and panoramas of the Gogunsan Archipelago.
A prospect looking south across the new artificial islands and bodies of water from Gunsan Industrial Peninsula towards Byeonsanbando National Park.
View of the Saemangeum Island City, looking westward from a helicopter above Gimje, looking over the Island City to the Sea Wall, the Gogunsan Archipelago and the Yellow Sea.


The Saemangeum project is a large 400 km2 land reclamation project on the west coast of the Korean peninsula. A 33 km long sea wall, the longest in the world, was built to enable the land reclamation. The construction of the wall started in 1991 and was completed in 1996. The site is to be developed over the coming twelve years to house a population of 680 000.

Saemangung is situated in the center of South Korea's agricultural and food processing province Jeollabuk Do. Agriculture and agricultural research will form an important part of the spatial programme.

A global city is to be founded as a center for tourism, service industries and international investment. The ambition of the competition organisers is for the city to become a sustainable and vital city of co-existance in the regional network of the Yellow Sea Rim. A sustainable energy concept for the city has been envisaged.

ARU has been selected as one of the teams probably as a result of our experience designing the urban landscape of Paju Book City in Seoul Korea.

Invited Teams


Selected Publications

Architecture as City Saemangeum Island City
Florian Beigel and Philip Christou, Springer Vienna, New York, Aug. 2010, 160 p. 150 illus. in color, 275mm x 240mm, hardcover, ISBN: 978-3-7091-0367-8.
The Architectural Review
'An Ideas Competition In Saemangeum in South Korea Has Seen Florian Beigel's Ideas Expressed On An Epic Scale', by Kieran Long, June 2009, p.84-89.
SPACE, Korea
'SAEMANGEUM ISLAND CITY London Metropolitan University', issue no. 493, Dec 2008, p.72-77, (part of a special issue on the Saemangeum Development), p.50-87, ISSN: 1228-2472.
Building Design
'Islands of possibility', by Ellis Woodman, 28 Nov. 2008, p.12-15, ISSN 0007-3423.

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KBS article
view article contains further information and a brief history of the project.Credits