UNStudio designs the world’s highest standing, spokeless Ferris wheel for Seoul

UNStudio recently teamed up with Arup and local firm Heerim Architecture to create a vision proposal for the new Peace Park Wheel, a landmark project initiated by the Seoul Metropolitan Government for Sangam World Cup Park in Seoul.

UNStudio’s design was selected as the winner of the preliminary competition and the consortium has been chosen to partner with Seoul Housing & Communities Corp., to propose the design to the City of Seoul. The Seoul Metropolitan Government recently unveiled UNStudio’s design, tentatively naming it ‘Seoul Twin Eye’. The project is part of the Mayor of Seoul’s vision ‘Han River with a Thousand Sunsets’, a vision to create a thousand spots along the Han River as public spaces for the people of Seoul.

Image © UNStudio

The 180 metre high structure is slated to be built on the edge of the Han River next to the World Cup Stadium. It will be the first ever of its kind, operating as a spokeless Ferris wheel with two intersecting rings. Each ring carries pods that seamlessly revolve around inside and outside tracks.

The Seoul Twin Eye will accommodate 64 capsules, each carrying 20-25 people at once. In total, it can provide rides to more than 1,400 people simultaneously, almost doubling the capacity of the London Eye. With a diameter of 180 metres, the wheel will be built upon a 40 metre high new cultural complex that is expected to house an exhibition space, a performance hall, retail and food & beverage outlets.

Image © UNStudio

The Seoul Twin Eye will stand atop this podium, reaching a height of 220 meters and becoming the world’s tallest spokeless Ferris wheel. As such, it will ensure the most expansive panoramic views possible of Seoul.

The proposal also included plans to build a monorail connecting the subway station to the Ferris wheel, as well as a zip line to add an extra experience for visitors.

Image © UNStudio

The design
The UNStudio team focused on the concept of unity as a symbol for the design. The wheel is inspired by the Honcheonsigye, an astronomical clock that represents the movement of celestial objects through time.

Ben van Berkel: “Located in the heart of the city, this spokeless design references Korea’s boundless ambition for innovation and spirit of progress, seamlessly blending cutting-edge technology with a timeless appreciation for stability and beauty.”

Image © UNStudio

The double ring structure of the ‘Seoul Twin Eye’ provides both stability and a unique aesthetic. UNStudio teamed up with Arup, who reviewed the proposed structure’s earthquake and wind resistance, for the recently unveiled vision proposal.

The Seoul Metropolitan Government announced that it plans to embark on construction around 2025 after undergoing a final-phase review by the Ministry of Strategy and Finance. Completion is planned by 2028.

Image © UNStudio

Location: Peace Park, Seoul, South Korea

Architect: UNStudio

Principal: Ben van Berkel, Gerard Loozekoot with Harlen Miller, Crystal Tang and Inés Verna

Collaboration: Arup and Heerim Architects

Client: The Reits, Kempinsky Hotel & Resorts Chuncheon

Building surface: 49,614 m2

Building volume: 699,492 m3

Building site: 51,713 m2

Status: Concept Vision

Images: Courtesy of UNStudio

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