Melike Altınışık Architects (MAA) is one of five firms that were shortlisted in the hopes of designing Seoul's 2nd Sejong Cultural Center for Performing Arts. The firm's proposal, which was made in collaboration with BAUM Architects and Aliveus Landscape, is called The Spark and consists of five buildings that form a unified hub.
MAA's proposal includes a 2,000-seat performance hall, a smaller 700-seat theater, a museum and exhibition space, as well as an education and management center. All of the buildings share a common basement level with underground parking. Thanks to the elliptical shape of the buildings and large pedestrian bridges, visitors can move around the complex and enjoy a wide array of cultural programming.
An elevated plaza extends the park to the waterfront and helps create a stronger connection between the Han River and Yeouido Park. MAA's integration of the natural landscape and efforts to seamlessly tie together the cultural site with the environment surely caught the eye of competition officials. The Seoul Metropolitan Government is looking to transform Yeouido Park into a cultural center with a thriving financial district, and these design decisions certainly hit the mark.
Each building in the complex is strategically placed to provide a view of either the river or the park. Along ground level, restaurants, cafes, and art shops will provide visitors with a wide variety of dining and shopping options. Taking care to cater to local traditions, The Spark provides ample space for indoor and outdoor events.
The Spark was selected for the shortlist along with projects by Durig AG, DMP Architects + Viron, Heerim Architects, and Zaha Hadid Architects + ULD Studio. All of the projects will now pass to the design phase, with the final announcement of the winner set for the first half of 2025.