K-2 international idea competition entry, South Korea: For the redevelopment of a former airfield site, Daegu Metropolitan city, Daegu Gyengbuk Development Institute

Antti Ahlava, Helsinki Zürich Office Ltd

Research output: Artistic and non-textual formArchitectureArt in coproductionpeer-review

33 Downloads (Pure)


Bridge City

This is a futuristic plan to transform the previous K-2 airfield site in Daegu into a web city in overwhelming nature, fusing diverse liveable communities with open culture, excellent conditions for new progressive industry, attractive settings for global economy, and the beautiful ecological environment.

A global smart city
A smart city is a city which has optimised the use of its infrastructure from the viewpoint of people and nature. A smart city is also a liveable city walkable city and human city. It’s people live in harmony with nature at close distance.

A cultural smart city
What is the technology that best helps to take care of old traditions and to create new ones – supporting exploration for contemporary, valuable human life? – Could this speculative pursuit be about bringing the ideal, utopian dimension back to the design of cities?

It will have technology in the service of people. The new technologies would be new tools for new tribes, for culturally motivated artefacts and spaces, increasing social cohesion, and making life more meaningful.
It will stem from the imaginative aspects of technological pragmatism in support to cultural creation.
It might be based on the utopian dimension of technology, where technology is a frame or a feeding ground for new, better life, in harmony with nature.

The Web
We propose a totally new type of city with a harmony between ecological nature and compact, social city. The new city consists of a web of buildings and streets above the nature, which has conquered its land back.

The area is connected to its surrounding city areas in a reasonable manner only from those streets, which can be connected without disturbing the hierarchical system of the traffic and compromising the fluidity of the mobility. There are three connecting crossings to the surroundings: one in south and two in west. These connections are also the main pedestrian accesses to the street life on the south side of the area and the metro and the public traffic inside the competition area is connected to the metro station. Bicycling routes run both on the bridge and landscape levels.

The Hubs
Each of the hubs within the web have a distinct architectural character in order to support orientation and create identity to the sub-parts of the area. In-between the buildings within the hubs, there are nice series of designed public outdoor spaces. The views to the surrounding nature are magnificent. Under the outdoor level, the hubs have podium parts for services in the residential parts and also production facilities in the industrial hubs. The experience of ascending from the podium level down to the landscape has been put special attention to with terraces, large stairs, ramps, escalators and lifts.
Many of the hubs of the web have mixed functions, supporting a lively cityscape, where different types of people meet each other in ”third places”, inspiring each others’ creativity, innovation and the quality of social life. The mixed-use hubs remain lively all the time. Both the diversity of the life inside the hubs and the nature immediately surrounding people, improves the quality of life immensely.
The hangars of the military side of the airfield have been restored, creating a loft-like area for cultural activities. There is a magnificent ascent from the neighbouring hubs down to this ”cultural village”.
Streets coming from other hubs cut the residential hubs, and the streets are connected to urban squares within the hubs, whileas in workplace nodes, the streets surround the buildings, tranquillising the inner outdoor spaces of the hub to become a pedestrian area.

Functions of the hubs
The general principle is that workplaces are located closest to the city centre with street connections to all directions and the residential areas on the side of the mountain, without through-drive and becoming smaller in density towards the north.
Two hubs on Mt. Palgong side, from west to east:
1-2: Low-density redisential
The hubs in the middle, from west to east:
3 West side: Industry, north-east: middle-density residential & offices
4 (The hub in the middle of the area): North-west: industry, north-east: middle-density residential and offices, southwest and south: administration.
5 Middle row, the easternmost hub: Middle-density residential
Hubs in the south, from west to east:
6 Offices and industry.
7 Industry and offices. This hub is located closest to the metro station.
8 Middle-density residential.
Shopping alleys are located by the streets inside the residential hubs 1, 2 4, 5 and 8.

Future industry
The industrial. laboratory and workshop premises in the wide podium-parts of these hubs are nicely connected to the office premises above. This combination of office, laboratory and manufacturing spaces together is the plan with an inspiring high-tech space in line with the 4th
Industrial Revolution and the era of digital transformation.

Bridge buildings
The bridges connecting the hubs leave the landscape intact below. Nature flows under giant arches of the bridges. A bridge is simultaneously a building and the city is dense enough to save open landscape as much as possible.
The bridges are simultaneously buildings for residential and office use. In order to get sunlight and air to the lower levels of the bridges, the supporting underside of the bridges, consisting of buildings is porous: there are gaps in between the buildings. Also horizontally, the bridges have a light cavity in their middle - an opening for also people to get down to the ground and connecting the flats.

A waterfront city & landscape
The natural flows of water have been restored and rechannelled through the site, supporting life by the water not only by Geumho River, but also within the competition area. There are amazing recreation possibilities and numerous ecosystem services at the water, which sustains a large variety of biotopes and biodiversity.

Biodiversity +500%
Carbon footprint -50%
Energy efficiency -30%
Attention +80%
Liveability +50%
Creativity and innovation +40%

Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationDaegu, South Korea
PublisherDaegu Metropolitan City
Publication statusPublished - 15 Nov 2021
MoE publication typeF2 Partial implementation of a work of art or performance


  • urban renewal
  • urban design
  • biodiversity
  • architecture

Field of art

  • Architecture


Dive into the research topics of 'K-2 international idea competition entry, South Korea: For the redevelopment of a former airfield site, Daegu Metropolitan city, Daegu Gyengbuk Development Institute'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this