Cheongna Tower


Korea Land Corporation

Incheon, KR

urban planning, mixed-use, architecture

110425 sqm, tower 450m high


Budcud, Marek Rytych, Piotr Jaros, Wojciech Markowski

Cheongna Tower

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Every newly urbanized area requires a Distinct Gesture, a gesture which organizes space. The gesture is never performed in an place chosen at random. It can be a Geometric Middle, an Axis of Composition, or even a point, not necessarily chosen in this way, but important for different reasons. The most important reason for such a decision is a conscious, but also intuitive discovering, and investing it with an exceptional meaning. It becomes a point of reference and measure in geometric and emotional space. Such a measure, a symbolic measure which contains spaces which are to attract and become a natural center of emotions and energy. Such gestures were always performed in the history of towns and places. These gestures were sometimes distinctly spiritual, they created temples – which are places of concentration; or mausolea – which are places of emotional memory [often of the same social groups], or magic places. This is what happens now in CHEONGNA. This community wishes to outline a new vertical axis, upon which depends everything which is meant to have a special value, but which also outlines a direction for everything which is outside – a direction inside.


The tower is to be a distinct AXIS OF THE WORLD, a new center of the world, which would clearly mark Hierarchy and Territories. The tower Cheongna will be a Finial, a CROWN of this part of KOREA and this part of the continent. So it has to have a SIMPLE GEOMETRIC FORM; on the base, of which cross section is oval in shape, there are placed THREE CRYSTALLINE FORMS. Their shape is just a simple metaphor of a crystal, a quasi-regular octagon; the distance between them is similarly irregular. The distance does not grow or diminish proportionally. So this is not perfect geometry. The crystals are irregular to show the lack of perfection in nature, it’s real POWER.

THE TOWER OF THE CITY OF CHEONGNA – A TRIPI have seen the tower for the first time when the plane was about to land. Visiting Incheon and seeing my friends was not the only reason I came here. I was particularly interested in the tower and the ecological city of Cheongna. I have seen the tower on the Internet and I knew from the very beginning that I would have to see it in reality. I have heard a lot about the numerous attractions which are inside it; I knew it would be a long and exciting adventure. After landing at the Incheon International Airport, I got on the AREX, the fast city train, and after a while I was in the station of Cheongna. On my way I admired the dynamic development of the whole Incheon from the bridge which connects Yeongjong with Cheongna. The fast train station was located in the northern part of the city and it was surrounded by a floral complex and by a golf course of impressive size.

I also saw a public park and a complex of multifunctional buildings which provide services for the station, and which form a gate to this part of the city. I have already seen the tower very precisely; its light colors sparkled against a background of the bright sky. I was lucky – the day was really nice, there was a light north-westerly wind, and the sun was high in the sky. I wanted to be at the foot of the tower as soon as possible. I could choose either a funicular railway, a park through which one could walk right up to the tower, or electric vehicles, which can be rented all around the city and which are its pride. I chose the funicular because I wanted to see the impressive park, to pass near the upper stories of the local buildings and make the best use of the sunny day. I bought a ticket and I took the elevator to the upper platform of the funicular. I was really amazed that everybody speaks English here, which is not so common in other cities in Korea. When we were moving on, I was surprised by the amount of public space, parks, the number of electricity-powered vehicles, and the wonderful diversity of the city architecture. I could already sense its presence!

I knew that the tower was watching me; one of its crystals was somehow aiming, or pointing at something, which really impressed me. The tower exuded some undefined power; it was like a magical totem. Now I could see the details of the tower clearly. I saw the light outside layer sparkling with colors, which changed depending on the light; its light construction was evenly slender. I have never seen anything like this before. A few birds flew over me to the tower. Now I could see that they had their nests there. Incredible! There was a park with many attractions in front of me; my destination was close. We stopped on a green mountain; on my left side I could sense the presence of the tower. I took the elevator from the platform down to a green hill, which turned out to be an underground car park. In front of me I could see a similar hill, on the top of which there was one of the electric vehicles rental companies. On my left-hand there was a green valley. I quickly got to the information office by the funicular station to get to know what kind of attractions I was to expect. I walked down a green terrace ramp which led me to the very bottom of the valley; there was a canal in front of me, and a garden floating on water on my left. In front of me there was an island with a tower, by which intriguing cupolas grew out of the ground.

According to the guide, there was a Sunken Plaza with restaurants and shops on my right side. In the ground there was the most modern Aqua Park in the world, which I found a bit like a cabbage that someone put upside down. On the other side of the island there was a Theme Park and a Kids Park over it. Life was vibrating all around me; there were people everywhere, all families, school trips I went towards the tower and the cupolas which emerged by its side. I saw the entrance, which was located in a small hollow in the ground. I went inside. On my way signs informed me which entrance I should use depending on whether I was with a trip or alone. When I was inside I understood what the cupolas were. They were giant lenses through which I could see a magnification of the tower and all its details. Now the local birds’ nests were almost in my reach. I bought a ticket, and the automatic navigation system led me to the least crowded viewing elevator.

The main part of my adventure, the one I longed for, is about to begin! While I was in the lift I admired the panorama of the city; but I decided to make my trip in three stages so that I could visit all the three diamonds thoroughly.