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Songdo Master Plan

A grand master plan is well underway in South Korea on a scale like no other. Here’s the latest from the Songdo IBD project.

Songdo Master Plan


July 13th, 2011

For several years now, ambitious works have been taking place in South Korea to turn 1,500 acres of reclaimed land along Incheon’s waterfront into an exemplary, forward-looking model of a sustainable and high-tech metropolis.

When completed in 2015, the Songdo International Business District (IBD), linked by a 7-mile bridge to Incheon International Airport and approximately 2 hours flying time to China and Japan, will be well positioned to become a major commercial centre in Northeast Asia.

The 10-year project is the largest private real estate development to date, a joint venture between New York-based Gale International and Korea’s POSCO E&C. It is designed by international architectural practice Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates (KPF), and the primary planning concepts include a carefully graduated urban density, extensive green space, neighborhood diversity, and the integration of emergent technologies.

Phase 1 of the development was completed in 2009, and while it still has some way to go, the project has already collected several awards along the way, including a Sustainable Cities Award, conferred by the Financial Times and Urban Land Institute. looks at the latest developments.


First World Towers

First World Towers

Completed this year, the First World Towers is the first residential project to be realised in Songdo IBD.

A project consisting of luxury apartments, retail shops and residential amenities, First World Towers signals a shift in the ’superblock design’ typical of new housing developments in Korea; residential buildings in the neighborhood are 4 to 6 times smaller than the country’s archetypal housing block.

Community-focused retail establishments and amenities define the perimeter of the blocks and building orientation and mechanical systems support energy efficiency.



Northeast Asia Trade Tower (NEATT)

The interiors of this mixed-use development is expected to be finished this year. When fully completed in 2012, NEATT will be a landmark on the city skyline. The 1,010-foot-tall, 68-storey tapering structure will serve as a model of sustainable design strategies, carefully balancing energy conservation, increased indoor environmental quality, and occupant comfort.




The convention centre is a pivotal component of Songdo’s development as an international business hub. Located near Central Park, the city’s main public green space, the low-rise complex is conceptualised as a series of folded roof planes – a ’landscape’ that extends the natural setting of the park into the city.


The first phase was finished in 2008 and expansion works are currently underway. When fully completed, ConvensiA will cover 1.2 million sq ft.

As it stands, ConvensiA’s exhibition space already has one of the biggest column-free spans in Asia.


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