spatial work


Blue Trace

:Regenerating urban structures
by repurposing existing flow of rain water.

Type | Urban Research / Desgin + Renovation Project
Program | Plant factory, commercial facilities, amenities
Year | 2018
Instructor | Marc Brossa

We have to admit the fact that a city needs its infrastructures. Also instead of moving them into pheriphery or hiding them underground, we have to accept and integrate them into our city. A city needs to integrate this infrastructure with public program or productive program. I proposed water storage to transform into a public and commercial program and use them according to the situation.

Infrastructures are solely made by humans, for the humans. In this project, I am questioning the modernistic approach to the nature, where humans are trying to control the nature, and occupy the land just for their needs.

This Project is about how to create the possibilities of the existing space, regarding the urban context and needs.

View from the main street

collage : layers of the city and the infrastructures

This site is a outdoor storage to control rainwater and flood of  Han river. Right now, it is used as a public parking lot covering the reservoir partially. Regarding the current situation, its economic and urban connection lies in the connection between Han river and the city of Seoul.

Urban Strategies

site plan


Mapo Reservoir, with retention storage of 75,095m3 and 2,985,000m3 drainage area stores rain water during the rainy season in Korea. Rain water is then released to the river after the season.

Han river, highway, pedestrial streets, and the apartment complexes along them

Design Strategies

I. Plant Factory
Polycarbonate with the steel frame is laid on top, emitting the light to the city

II. Water Layer
Water is purified on the roofs of the building, thus creating space with different dimension following the system

III. Steel Frame
Light steel frame is added to the existing structure of the reservoir

IV. Regenerating Concrete plate
Carcing out the “pores” from the existing concrete mass- airing the water flowing below

V. Underground
With more sunlight, vegetation grows out, creating a new urban space for the public

View from the underground

Grid, Unit, and Variation

The reservoir is built on top of grid system. While the rain water is purified gradually and through the natural process, it creates multiple spaces accordingly. Using this grid structure, units are used to hold different forms of behaviours.

I. Underground

II. Plant Factory

III. Parking lot


IV. Public Space

V. Entrance

Sectional System

Plant factory units are installed on top of parapet. Water purification tanks are installed to grow plants. Vertical carousels are constantly rotating to maximize LED light exposure. Flow of water from top to bottom creates different types of vegetation. Thin layer of water is slowly glowing, using difference in height - enabling natural oxidental purification.

Existing Infrastructure to the New

From one dimensional use
to multi dimensional use of existing infrastructure

a-a’ section 

Floor Plan


Roof | Velocity of Water and Plantation

© ymchoi 2019