Seoul National University Hospital Medical Mall


Seoul, South Korea




Architecture, Engineering, Planning


HCD Citation of Merit Award

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What to do when there’s seemingly no room to grow? Seoul National University Hospital, a prestigious medical, research and education institution in South Korea, needed to add clinic space in their central hospital—the cornerstone of a campus that includes specialty hospitals, labs, research and education facilities. Because the existing campus was essentially at-capacity, there was virtually no space for a new vertical facility. With no option to build up, Gresham Smith architects and engineers crafted a complex medical mall design solution by looking down.

stories below grade
floors of outpatient clinics
level parking garage
rendering of entrance to glass building in middle of hospital campus

Our design concept places six-stories below grade, including three floors of outpatient clinics, retail and support spaces and a three-level parking garage, all with a focus on flexibility, intuitive wayfinding and expandability. The facility sits at the core of the site and connects the surrounding functional hospital, labs, research and education facilities while maintaining a picturesque setting for the historic Western-style hospital building.

doctor and patient talking in two-story lobby with escalators and glass walls

We designed the mostly below-grade space to feel light and natural through the inclusion of a courtyard and skylights. Expansive windows also bring natural light into the interior of the clinics. By creating a focus on nature and architecture through excavation and the south-facing courtyard, the perception of the building as being underground is diminished, establishing a healthy and vibrant aesthetic.