Seoul Foreign School Campus Master Plan

1211 Mp 8

Seoul Foreign School Campus Master Plan

The Master Plan for Seoul Foreign School—the oldest international school in Korea—provides a road map for managing anticipated growth and refurbishment, focused on promoting the learning environment while preserving the unique character of the campus. The strategic, sequenced replacement of aging facilities establishes SFS as an environmentally-conscious, technologically-advanced leader among international schools in the Asia Pacific region.

1211 Mp 8

Seoul Foreign School (SFS) celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2012. Following this occasion, SFS enlisted Ennead to lead a team tasked with “developing a comprehensive campus Facilities Master Plan to plan proactively for, and manage, anticipated growth and refurbishment focused on enhancing and promoting the physical learning environment of SFS while preserving the unique character of the campus”. 

The first stage of developing a comprehensive campus master plan was to determine the current state of facilities on campus relative to both international “best practices” and specific peer K-12 international schools in the region. The team began by visiting and analyzing the campus and assessing the conditions of the major existing facilities. A benchmarking study was also undertaken which analyzed ten leading international schools in East Asia.

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Concurrently, a thorough programming and utilization study was undertaken involving interviews with current SFS faculty, staff, administration and leadership and detailed analysis of how current facilities are allocated, scheduled and used. 

The conclusion of these efforts was that for SFS to maintain its position as the premier international school in Korea, both enlarging and enhancing the School’s academic and athletic facilities would be necessary. Because the campus was built to its legal limit, the fundamental challenge of the master plan was to unlock space on the campus that would allow for expansion with minimal disruption the currently excellent level of operations.

Ennead developed a phased approach that carefully sequenced and reconfigured the campus to “unlock” campus building opportunities with minimal disruption to campus life. This approach would allow SFS to deliver nine new projects, including a new gymnasium and pavilion, high school, middle school, British school, and faculty and administrative housing. The study resulted in a new disposition of program elements that would bring a coherent sense of place to the SFS campus.

1211 Mp 7

High performance design has been a key part of the design team’s development of master planning concepts for the Seoul Foreign School (SFS).  For SFS, high performance design means making decisions that will result in reduced operational cost and complexity over time, increased campus cohesiveness and comfort, and high levels of occupant comfort and performance.

In January 2015 Seoul City Officials approved the multi-phase SFS Master Plan, and soon thereafter the Ennead design team began work on Phase 1 which includes a 185,000 SF new building for the High School which was completed in 2018.

1211 Sfs C Joohwan Yoon 2


Seoul, South Korea
462,998 GSF
New High School, New Middle School, New British School, New Gym, Faculty & Administrative Residences, Design Technology Center, Outdoor Terraces, Outdoor Amphitheater


Ennead Design Team
Peter Schubert, Don Weinreich, Alex O'Briant, Jacob Reidel, Todd Van Varick, Eugene Colberg, Erkan Emre, Nick Kratz, Nikita Payusov, Daniel Stube