Jamsil MICE Complex set to be showstopper


New destination in South Korea Image: Populous

A stunning new global destination of sports, culture and events has been unveiled in Seoul, South Korea.

Designed by global architecture firm Populous, the Jamsil Sports MICE Complex is set to become a world-leading destination and will strengthen South Korea’s place in Asia’s highly competitive sports, conferences and events market.

Construction is expected to begin in the second half of 2023.

The sports meetings, incentives, conferences, and exhibitions (MICE) complex project in Jamsil, Seoul, has been in the works since 2016 with an aim to build a multipurpose facility encompassing exhibition, convention, sports, and culture as well as hotels and commercial and business facilities. The preferred bidder has been selected after a comprehensive evaluation, including development plan, design/construction plan, operation plan, and public interest by the evaluation committee supervised by the Seoul Public Investment Management Service under the Seoul Institute.

Populous is a global architectural and design practice specializing in sports facilities, arenas and convention centers, as well as the planning and design of major special events. Populous was created through a management buyout in January 2009, becoming independently-owned and operated.

Christopher Lee, Managing Director, EMEA, Populous, UK, is a Member of Coliseum – Global Sports Venue Alliance.

It is Populous’ most significant post-Olympic legacy work worldwide and will be directed from their Asia-Pacific headquarters in Queensland, Australia.

The ‘Populous’ stated that the project will be located on the former 35-hectare site of the Seoul 1988 Olympics and reimagined into a $AU2.4 billion new urban master planned venue by the winning Hanwha E&C consortium, selected by the Seoul Metropolitan Government, with Populous as the architect for the masterplan and concept design.

South Korea-based Hanwha Engineering & Construction is recognized for its ability to successfully complete large-scale and complex projects in the global market, such as building an entire City, constructing chemical plants in the Middle East and North Africa and completing various real estate projects in the Americas.

Managing Director for Populous (Asia-Pacific) Paul Henry said Populous’ masterplan focused on innovative urban design and planning which respects both the heritage of the 1988 Olympic Stadium and the ongoing local community use.

Added Henry, “The Jamsil Sports MICE Complex will become a unique landmark tying together state-of-the-art sporting facilities with world leading provisions for meetings, incentives, conventions, and exhibitions, along with cultural experiences celebrating the legacy of the Olympic history of the site. The unifying power and the dynamics of the Olympics will bring together the concepts of sport, education and culture to express a notion of accessibility and connection for all.”

The ‘Populous’ further stated that forward- thinking initiatives around the development of Smart Cities were incorporated into the design with innovative solutions for future mobility such as Urban Airborne Mobility (UAM) drone flying provisions.

Engrained into the development are sustainable design solutions introduced through energy efficiency systems such as high-performing Green rooftops, biotope installations of living plants and animals, a solar screening device, restoration and preservation of the former site, and utilization of existing facilities.

Continued Henry, “The design for Jamsil Sports MICE Complex will be carried out from our Brisbane headquarters in Australia and will provide ongoing opportunities for Queensland design talent on the world stage, as well as provide further jobs for additional highly skilled architects in the office.”
Originally built for the 1988 Summer Olympics, the master planned precinct along the Han River will be reimagined to include:

  • Convention and exhibition center with over 100,000 gross sqm of exhibition halls, plus pre-function spaces, meeting rooms, a concert hall, as well as commercial offerings and ballrooms (total 278,000 gross sqm of MICE facilities);
  • An 11,000-seat sports complex – a flexible arena for local sport, e-sports, live performances and other events;
  • A 35,000-seat open air baseball park which will be the home for two local teams;
  • A five-star hotel with over 300 rooms;
  • A four-star business hotel with 300 rooms within a 178,000sqm commercial office tower;
  • 123,000 gross sqm of cultural and commercial retail;
  • A 3,000-seat indoor underground swimming pool capable of hosting swimming competitions; and
  • A 300-room serviced residence and hotel tower.

The Jamsil Sports MICE Complex will be the third project for Populous in South Korea, alongside the 22,011-capacity Changwon NC Park (NC Dinos baseball park) which opened in March 2019 and the 30,000-capacity Incheon Asiad Main Stadium, which hosted the opening and closing ceremony of the 17th Asian Games in 2014.

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