The Design Award for best city from U.K. lifestyle magazine Wallpaper goes to Seoul. The magazine chose the city for features like a floating structure resembling a blossoming flower, Korean cuisine and rows of "hanok" or traditional Korean houses.
Wallpaper, launched in 1996, features mostly picture spreads for interior design and fashion as well as producing pocket-sized city guide books. Seoul was up against Bogotá, Cape Town, Helsinki and San Francisco.
"Having pulled off the neat trick of becoming a major engine of pop culture, as well as a leading supplier of high-end gadgetry, South Korea's capital has evolved into a major modern city," the magazine says.
"Eye-catching new builds include Zaha Hadid‘s Dongdaemun Design Park, due to be completed in 2013, and waterfront projects such as the Floating Islands," it wrote.
"Culinary tastes are shifting, too, with chefs like Jung-sik Yim reinventing traditional cuisine; while many fashion trends are born [in the district of Hongik University], which has a dynamic street style scene to rival Ginza's," it added. "Welcoming visitors to all this is an abundance of hotels, from historic hanoks such as Rakkojae to the new Banyan Tree."
Now in its ninth year, the Wallpaper Design Awards select the best designs in the world in 11 areas, from cities and architecture to fashion, products and hotels.