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Gwangnaru Rescue Center of Water Disaster

CoRe Architects

written by
CoRe Architects
photographed by
Roh Kyung
materials provided by
CoRe Architects
edited by
Park Semi

SPACE April 2022 (No. 653)  


Gwangnaru Rescue Center of Water Disaster, which covers a 9.4km section from upstream of Jamsil Bridge to Gangdongdaegyo Bridge, which other rescue operations can’t cover. It is an emergency service office that can accommodate seven members of a special water rescue team who stay for three shifts around the clock every day. The self-floating building constructed at the riverside of Gwangnaru Hangang Park in Cheonho-dong, Gangdong-gu, which is close to Jamsil, Cheonho, and Gwangjin Bridges (with their many suicide attempts) aims to secure safety with the goal of a four-minute arrival (which is essential in water accidents).



Evacuation is ordered to a safety zone when the water level on the lowlands of the Han River basin reaches 10.5m in a flood, about 4m higher than the average. Usually, the water level of the Han River is lower than the ground level by 6m to 12m at least, and about 19m from the Olympic highway. In consideration of this, a lower buoyancy structure system based on the principle of a ship was designed to be about 1.7m high, which provided a base for the Water Rescue Team.




A rectangular plan, which is open on the first floor, is formed around a courtyard using an inner circulation structure from the first to the second floors and an outer structure of continuous space of programmes. This structure encourages immediate dispatch from anywhere and secures natural ventilation and ample daylight. The building façade is finished with super-mirror 3D metal in wave patterns that resemble therippling of a river.





It reflects the varied light effects and colours found in the park and in the of north-south direction of the Han River over time, and also makes the floating building reflect the Han River Park like a mirror. Built on a buoyancy structure that can respond to water level changes, the ship mooring facility is connected to the riverside with a 1.5m-wide connecting ramp and can accommodate two water boats. Facilities in the Han River are not exactly architecture, but a kind of ship that doesn’t sail but float on the shore because they are in the Han River, the lifeline of Seoul.




CoRe Architects (U Zongxoo, Kim Vin) + Graft Objec

Design team

An Chiwan, Kim Minkyum


83-19, Seonsa-ro, Gangdong-gu, Seoul, Korea


fire station & boat mooring

Site area


Building area


Gross floor area


Building scope






Building to land ratio


Floor area ratio



steel structure, floating type structure

Exterior finishing

3D metal (water wave)

Interior finishing

stainless steel

Structural engineer

Ewon Structure Engineering Corporation, KJ Enginee

Mechanical engineer

Cheonglim Mechanical Construction

Electrical engineer

Geugdong Engineering Corporation


I-land Construction

Design period

Dec. 2018 – Apr. 2019

Construction period

Sep. 2019 – June 2020


Fire and Disaster Headquarters in Seoul Metropolit

CoRe Architects(U Zongxoo, Kim Vin)
CoRe Architects was established in Seoul, 2014 by U Zongxoo and Kim Vin. They are interested in spacial building methods, programs, experimentation with materials, and finding new types that interact with changing social structures. Through this project, They also are participating in projects in wide range of scale in various fields including architecture, urban, interior, infrastructure facilities of organizing city. They have won the Kim Suguen Architecture Award Preview Award, Seoul Architecture Award Grand prize, Korean Architecture Culture Award, Public Architecture Award. They were also selected as finalists for 4 teams of MMCA Gwacheon Project 2020, and were awarded the Seoul Architecture Award 2021 Grand prize for Seoul Seojin School.