Reimagining the concept of the garden, UNStudio’s masterplan for South Korea’s Gyeongdo Island goes beyond traditional landscape design.

The Korean garden, reimagined


Our masterplan for this new leisure destination on South Korea’s southern peninsula puts the natural environment at the heart of the design, envisaging an island destination where culture and nature exist in harmony. Drawing inspiration from traditional Korean gardens, which offer a place for human activities while also celebrating flora and fauna, UNStudio’s design envisages a sustainable leisure destination where the natural and manmade environments are seamlessly linked.


The development is split into three neighbourhoods, spread across the 470,000 m2-site, each with a distinct garden concept. These neighbourhoods feature buildings that are responsive to the natural environment and centre around the green qualities inherent to the island, enriching the existing conservation areas while also making space for a lush forest.


The buildings are embedded in the landscape and follow its natural morphology, while we have also paid special attention to how the scenery is framed – an important legacy of traditional Korean gardens – to help maintain the natural landscape as a continuous theme, inside and out.

Experiences that contrast with city life


The creation of memorable experiences is also a driver for the design of the amenities offered on Gyeongdo Island. Aiming to turn the site into Asia’s number one marine and coastal tourism destination, the new development offers a rich programme of amenities, activities and infrastructure, including an exclusive hotel, private villas, holiday apartments, an outdoor-indoor water park resort, shopping centre, marinas and a cable-car. Placing the different needs and wishes of the various users at the centre of the design, the masterplan offers a number of destinations, from affordable options, such as a family resort, to more exclusive private villas on a smaller neighbouring island.


Ease of movement is ensured by a seamless public transportatio

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