UN Studio has been hired to design a new tourist mecca in South Korea that encompasses a small island. The project’s design draws its inspiration from the classic Korean garden and will include a great deal of greenery, such as green roofs atop a number of buildings.

Gyeongdo Island is situated in the southern region of the Korean peninsula, in the vicinity of the city of Yeosu. Assuming the project goes forward, UN Studio’s masterplan will be sized 470,000 sq m (about 5 million sq ft) and be spread across a trio of neighbourhoods, each of which will boast distinct landscapes.

The inaugural neighbourhood is thought of as the island’s main entrance and is set to include a port, cable car station, marina, and a bridge, plus entertainment and retail centres and a waterfront boardwalk. In the vicinity will be a second neighbourhood that acts as a leisure spot. This will feature a manmade pool and beach, a luxury hotel, vacation apartments, private cliffside villas, a waterpark, and condominiums.

A good number of the island’s buildings will be partially buried in the ground and will integrate greenery, including green roofs. Although UN Studio plans to integrate some sustainable design into the project, the extent of this design element has yet to be revealed. What is known at this time is that the island’s layout has been designed to reduce solar heat gain and to facilitate passive cooling, and to frame views of the beautiful landscapes.

The Korean garden inspires the island’s master plan, according to UN Studio. The Korean garden provides a site for human activities in a flawlessly linked natural and manmade environment. Each island development boasts a different garden concept, with the structures responding to their natural surroundings in terms of their design and sustainable performance. The trees, flowers and vegetation also are planned to suit each individual neighbourhood, acting as exquisite characteristics and naturemade wayfinding tools.

The Gyeongdo Island project presently awaits planning permission.