The Korean national football team is getting a new state-of-the-art training centre, designed by UNStudio with expert advice from an international team of leading football stadium managers.
The new Korean National Football Center, located 85km south of Seoul in the city of Cheonan-shi, will be a world-class facility incorporating health, science, technology and education to help foster the next generation of Korean football stars.
“In the Netherlands we understand the importance of training footballers from a young age,” said UNStudio’s founder Ben van Berkel. “We invest a great deal in our youth, as well as in new technologies and state-of-the-art tools and techniques for the education and excellence of football.”
In designing the masterplan for the site, UNStudio gathered an international team of leading football stadium managers, alongside experts in sports science and digital data collection.
Henk Markerink, CEO of Amsterdam's Johan Cruijff ArenA, was among the specialists involved, bringing decades of experience in advising sporting projects around the world.
“The Johan Cruijff ArenA is honoured and proud to be part of realising such a prominent and iconic training complex for a country that is advancing technologically in such a way that it serves as an example to us all,” he said.
The facility will feature two large stadiums (indoor and outdoor) and over a dozen sports field typologies, as well as a museum, high-end hotel and wellness centre.
The focal point of the masterplan will be its central plaza, which will give sports fans access to public parts of the training centre, and can host multi-functional events throughout the year.
Alongside the national men’s team, the facility will be home to national women’s and youth sides, gathering all of the country’s top footballers in one place.
With technology now a key part of sports medicine and elite training, digital tech will also be widely integrated into the facility, providing trainers with the data they need to be able to create cutting-edge, customised training regimes for the teams and players.
The masterplan was selected as the winning design in an international closed competition held in March 2020. Commissioned by the Korean Football Association (KFA), the new National Football Center will not only become home to the Korean national teams and their trainers, but also a laboratory for future generations of top league players.
The Netherlands and South Korea have a long-standing football friendship, which began in 2002 when Dutch coach Guus Hiddink led the Korean national team to their first-ever quarterfinals in the World Cup, ending in an unprecedented fourth-place finish.
Find out more about the design here.