UNStudio Reinvents the Wheel for Seoul

UNStudio designs the world’s highest standing, spokeless Ferris wheel for Seoul.

UNStudio teamed up with Arup and Seoul-based firm Heerim Architecture to create a proposal for the new Peace Park Wheel, a landmark project initiated by the Seoul Metropolitan Government for Sangam World Cup Park in Seoul.

UNStudio’s design was selected as the winner of the preliminary competition and the consortium has been chosen to partner with Seoul Housing & Communities Corp., to propose the design to the City of Seoul.

The Seoul Metropolitan Government recently unveiled UNStudio’s design, tentatively naming it ‘Seoul Twin Eye’. The project is part of the Mayor of Seoul’s vision ‘Han River with a Thousand Sunsets’, a vision to create a thousand spots along the Han River as public spaces for the people of Seoul.

The 180-metre-high structure is slated to be built on the edge of the Han River next to the World Cup Stadium. It will be the first ever of its kind, operating as a spokeless Ferris wheel with two intersecting rings. Each ring carries pods that seamlessly revolve around inside and outside tracks.

The Seoul Twin Eye will accommodate 64 capsules, each carrying 20-25 people at once. In total, it can provide rides to more than 1,400 people simultaneously, almost doubling the capacity of the London Eye.

With a diameter of 180 metres, the wheel will be built upon a 40 metre high new cultural complex that is expected to house an exhibition space, a performance hall, retail and food & beverage outlets. The Seoul Twin Eye will stand atop this podium, reaching a height of 220 meters and becoming the world’s tallest spokeless Ferris wheel. As such, it will ensure the most expansive panoramic views possible of Seoul.

The proposal also included plans to build a monorail connecting the subway station to the Ferris wheel, as well as a zip line to add an extra experience for visitors.

The design
The UNStudio team focused on the concept of unity as a symbol for the design. The wheel is inspired by the Honcheonsigye, an astronomical clock that represents the movement of celestial objects through time.

According to UNStudio, Principal Architect,Ben van Berkel,“Located in the heart of the city, this spokeless design references Korea’s boundless ambition for innovation and spirit of progress, seamlessly blending cutting-edge technology with a timeless appreciation for stability and beauty.”

The double ring structure of the ‘Seoul Twin Eye’ provides both stability and a unique aesthetic. UNStudio teamed up with Arup, who reviewed the proposed structure’s earthquake and wind resistance, for the recently unveiled vision proposal.

The Seoul Metropolitan Government announced that it plans to embark on construction around 2025 after undergoing a final-phase review by the Ministry of Strategy and Finance. Completion is planned by 2028.

Project credits

UNStudio Team:
Ben van Berkel, Gerard Loozekoot with Harlen Miller, Crystal Tang and Inés Verna

In collaboration with:
Arup and Heerim Architects