Samoo’s ‘Story Box’ Recycling Plaza Design Tells A Green Tale

Anyone can collect their cans and cardboard and set it out by the curb once a week, but when we’re invited inside the recycling plant, we gain a better understanding of the sheer volume of waste, and why reduce and reuse are actually the more important mandates.

Telling the story of recycling was the inspirational behind the design of Seoul’s new recycling plaza. Created by the international architectural firm Samoo Architects & Engineers,  the ‘Story Box’ building will serve as a hub for gathering, processing, and re-marketing of recycled goods.

seoul recycle plaza

Image via Samoo Architects & Engineers

Samoo, which has offices around the world, believes that “no project can excel without a strong sustainable strategy”. As such, the firm keeps nearly 50 qualified LEED Accredited Professionals on staff and has many green building projects under its belt, including the first LEED Platinum certified project in Korea.

This expertise is noticeable in the firm’s winning submission to the Seoul Recycle Plaza design competition. Samoo envisions is a 5-storey 16,449 square meter complex facility that combines manufacture, exhibition, education, and resale of recycled goods. “The facility allows visitors to experience the entire process of recycling in a functional and exciting atmosphere that encourages participation,” reports a press release.

seoul recycle plaza

Image via Samoo Architects & Engineers

The multipurpose building will take advantage of natural sunlight throughout the day, thanks to its southern orientation. ” Instead of functional zoning separated by levels, similar programs are grouped into clusters for maximum efficiency and also to create a unique circulation path that encompasses both inside and outside of facilities” reads the release. And of course, green building is an opportunity to demonstrate recycling in action, so various kinds of reused materials have been applied on the exterior of the building.

seoul recycle plaza

Image via Seoul Architects & Engineers

It’s hoped that the Recycling Plaza will be a place that Seoul residents will want to visit over and over, immersing themselves in the full process, and gaining a larger perspective on the potential value of things otherwise thrown away. The Seoul Recycle Plaza is scheduled to begin construction by December with a target opening year of 2015.

Beth Buczynski is a freelancer writer and editor currently living in the Rocky Mountain West. Her articles appear on Care2, Ecosalon and Inhabitat, just to name a few. So far, Beth has lived in or near three major U.S. mountain ranges, and is passionate about protecting the important ecosystems they represent. Follow Beth on Twitter as @ecosphericblog