Taekwondo Park: Ascending Passages
Taekwondo Park will establish a dynamic gateway to the physical and philosophical world of Taekwondo, a Korean martial art and the national sport of South Korea, and become an athletic and cultural destination for 70 million practitioners from around the world.
Weiss/Manfredi’s design celebrates the history and culture of Korea, the principles of Taekwondo, and the site’s dramatic topography.
Nestled within the mountainous landscape, an arena, training center, and healing center anchor three distinct precincts that reflect the cultivation of body, mind, and spirit through Taekwondo. An ascending pathway links the three precincts with a sequence of bridges that evoke the passage from novice to Grand Master, from white belt to black belt, and from physical strength to spiritual ascendance.
The three precincts accommodate a vast array of activities ranging from the spectacle of the arena to the serenity of the healing center retreat. The first precinct, the Body, resides at the lowest elevation of the site and includes the arrival plaza and arena.
The second precinct, the Mind, at the intermediate elevation, includes the research and training centers, which form an amphitheater of terraced buildings looking out over the open-air Taekwondo training and parade grounds.
The third precinct, the Spirit, at the uppermost site elevation, includes the healing center, memorial park, water terraces, and an observation tower overlooking the entire site.
Strengthening the connection of the three precincts, water descends through the valley in a series of water gardens that incorporate the narrative of scenic landscape elements unique to the region.
Throughout the park, the distinction between building and site is blurred. Architecture, landscape, and water collaborate in a series of ascending terraces and bridges that preserve the topography of the site and establish a vital sustainable setting.
Framing places for events, art, recreation, and renewal, Taekwondo Park will become an international destination that celebrates the history and culture of Korea as well as the practice and principles of Taekwondo.