UNStudio to build South Korea’s National Football Centre in Seoul
Client: Korea Football Association
Architects: UNStudio: Ben van Berkel, Gerard Loozekoot mit Harlen Miller, Crystal Tang and Suhan Na, Luigi Olivieri, Zirong Zhao
Advisory: Amsterdam ArenA – Stadium Logistics and Sports Science: Henk Markerink, Sander van Stiphout, Max Reckers
The fact that a Dutch architecture studio is building the South Korean National Football Centre may be explained by the studio’s victory in an international design competition. However, it is not unlikely that the project is an expression of the special football friendship shared by the Netherlands and South Korea. After all, Dutch coach Guus Hiddink spectacularly led the South Korean national football team to the semi-finals: an unprecedented achievement in Korean football history.
To create their master plan, UNStudio worked intensively with various industry specialists. In March 2020, the design was selected as the winner in a limited international competition. The new National Football Centre, which will stand on an area measuring 450,427 m2 in Cheonan, Chungnam, will be not only the home of the Korean national football team and its trainers, but also an incubator for future generations of top players.
At the centre, the women’s and youth teams will share space with the men’s national team. The facilities for youth training will be set up according to the requirements of the league’s best players and will place particular value on educating international trainers and developing physical and mental health. The centre will also be an attractive destination for football fans. It will have two stadiums, a dozen different playing field typologies, tracks and indoor halls. These facilities will be closely associated with specialized sports physicians and treatment centres.