American Society of Landscape Architects ASLA 2007 Student Awards
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Living Grid: bands, terraces, islands.
Plan Layers.
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Decentralization of the City [Program integration with green areas] .
The central open space as the 'hub' open space of the City [Ecological Networks].
Core + backbone of the City [proposed green spaces for MAC].
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Living Grid Park - MAC Central Open Space
Shannon V. Scovell, Student ASLA
University of Pennsylvania School of Design, Philadelphia, Pennyslvania
Faculty Advisors: James Corner, ASLA; Richard Kennedy

"Powerful graphics. This is a great project using agriculture as a framework for development. The analytical diagrams are strong in establishing the context for the rice paddies."

— 2008 Student Awards Jury Comments

Project Statement:

The Living Grid Park reconsiders the meaning of a ‘large park’ and its function at the center of a city. How can an agriculturally productive plain transform into a socially productive open space? The rice paddy becomes five landscapes, the urban waterfront, rice paddy demonstration field, international display gardens, wetlands, and forests. As the grid is transformed to a human scale, the vastness preserved, new landscapes emerge to be experienced by the new city.

Project Narrative:

Living Grid Park – the Central Open Space for the Multi-functional Administrative City, South Korea
This studio focuses on the idea of a ‘flatbed picture plane’ à la Robert Rauschenberg’s artistic endeavors. Accumulation, range, scale, and density are considerations at hand while looking at patterns within nature, how Rauschenberg constructs his pieces, and how modernist painters evoke a sense of feeling, time and space within landscape and still life paintings. These ideas are applied in the organization, layout, and depiction of the design concepts for a new large park at the center of a new city.

The Central Open Space of the MAC
The Multi-functional Administrative City [MAC] proposal is for a new decentralized metropolitan city in South Korea. The strategic distribution of administration, urban development, culture, health, and technology throughout the ring of the city focuses on achieving self-sufficiency as the foundation for the city. A central open space will function as the main urban landscape, implementing the concepts of non-hierarchy and decentralization.

Currently, the open space is used as a productive rice paddy, bordered by the Geum River to the south, small villages to the west and northeast, and a wild forest in the distance. A flat open plain, of nearly seven square kilometers, the paddy is aligned with Jeonweol-san Mountain and Wonsu-bong Mountain. In Korea, an open space is often utmost cultural significance when it is facing water and has mountains in the background.

The Living Grid comes to life as the rice paddy grid and existing drainage infrastructure is transformed into various new landscapes. As it exists, the rice paddy is a monoculture landscape; a vast wide-open expanse with no relation to the human scale. The concept for the Living Grid Park is to create a variety of landscapes—the Urban Waterfront, the Rice Paddy Demonstration Field, the International Display Gardens, the Wetlands, and the Forest—to break up the vastness of the open space, providing a myriad of experiences and places within the landscape.

The Five Landscape Types
Each landscape type provides the context for community amenities while creating a unique sequential experience as one travels across the park.

As one travels west to east across the site, the spaces alter between enclosed human scaled spaces to vast open spaces reminiscent of the previous rice paddy. The Urban Waterfront contains the plazas, promenades and cultural amenities such as museums, opera houses, music venues, and theatres. The Rice Paddy Demonstration Field preserves that tradition of rice production on site, becoming more of a research and education facility for residents and visitors. The International Display Gardens offer a botanical display of local native plants as well as various greenhouses and museums dedicated to international plants. The Wetlands use the existing drainage infrastructure of the rice paddy to create permanent ponds as a nature reserve and habitat for migrating birds. The Forest is a series of plantations and orchards, growing the trees for the new park and future expansion of the city while transitioning to a wild forest with pathways and trails to connect to the natural mountain forest to the northeast of the park.


Down by the Geum River. Piers by the PAT waterfront.
International display gardens.
Wetland Mosaic + Nature Reserve.
Forest Collage.
A night at the piers.
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