Amsterdam, The Netherlands – Dutch architectural firm UNStudio has teamed up with Amsterdam's Johan Cruijff ArenA for their winning masterplan for the Korean National Football Centre in Seoul. Celebrating the history and future of Korean football and the power of sport, in addition to football, the plan also focuses on health, wellness, science, technology and education and promotes a healthy lifestyle. Everything to ensure that South Korean footballers can deliver top performances.
The Dutch enjoy a successful historical football friendship with South Korea that dates back to 2002, when internationally celebrated Dutch coach Guus Hiddink spectacularly led the South Korean national team to the semi-finals and a final fourth place - an unprecedented achievement in Korean football history.
Ben van Berkel, Founder & Principal Architect, UNStudio: “The Netherlands is a very proud footballing nation. We have many top players and trainers in teams all over the globe. As the inventors of ‘Total Football’, to us football is not just a sport; it’s an expression of culture, a science and a philosophy. Football brings people together, it provides them with a sense of comradery, of belonging and of national pride.”
NStudio’s masterplan – the result of an in-depth collaboration with industry specialists - was selected as the winning design in an international closed competition that took place in March this year. Commissioned by the Korean Football Association (KFA), the new state of the art National Football Centre will not only become home to the Korean national team and their trainers, but also a laboratory for future generations of top league players, helping to foster their careers.
For the development of the masterplan, UNStudio gathered together an international team of leading football stadium managers, alongside specialists in sports science and digital data collection. This team of industry specialists has worked with world-renowned football leagues and stadiums throughout Europe and the Middle East. The essential elements for the masterplan are therefore based on lessons learned from other top international football clubs and training centres.
UNStudio’s masterplan for the new National Football Centre (NFC) – located on a 450,427 square metres site in Cheonan-shi, Chungnam-do – envisions the future of Korean football, for which an international presence is crucial.