The city planners and designers of Seoul and Korea, have a 'thing' with wanting to be modern.
They push it as far as striving to be 'futuristic.' More and more, Seoul's newest infrastructures are
constructed to this aesthetic and in doing so, the scope of Seoul's new landmarks are changing.
When one might visit Seoul for the first time, they're told to visit the old Hanoks at Bukchon Hanok
Village, the city's old palaces like Gyeongbokgung, and old Seoul Fortresses like in Naksan Park.
Now on a tourist's checklist are things like Lotte World Mall & Tower, last year's new addition and Korea's tallest tower.
The city's newest prized possessions in infrastructure try to beat each other in being the biggest,
the flashiest, the most modern, so much so that they put a UFO ship in the center of Seoul.
This design was architectZaha Hadid's interpretation of it's surrounding Dongdaemun area's dynamism,
that is in a "constant flux from the early morning to late at night."
The dominating force of the Design Plaza, she designed, is so out of world modern, that it brings new
meaning to what Seoul is and will become. When you stand outside in it's vicinity, the building is so
massive that it towers over you, yet you feel massive open space.
She says this was it's intention to emphasize the "vastness of the universe." Crazy stuff..
The fluidity and flexibility of it's lines were meant to emulate flowing water, and it's definitely felt, at least
for me, through the smoothness of the texture of the building, it's space grey color, and through the fact
that the building claims it has no straight lines or walls...
The Dongdaemun Design Plaza is a multi-functional space. One may know it as a museum for snagging
the most buzzed about exhibits in the city, bringing in big international names.
or you may of just seen photos on facebook from couples tagging themselves at the LED rose garden on it's rooftop.
or the events they host in the three-dimensional art halls.
Even the design and architecture of these snow-white interior spaces of the plaza inspire a new world of
creation and imaginative thinking.
They also have a Design Shop.
The brains behind the plaza however, doesn't forget about the past as well as the future and they've
called a section of the plaza: the Dongdaemun History & Culture Park.
Here you'll find the Gallery MUN, Yigansumun Exhibition Hall, Dongdaemun History Museum 1938,
and in the below picture, they've preserved and displays an original portion of the Seoul Fortress Wall.
They've even chosen to preserve recent history as a reminder, as they've kept this light fixture from the
former Dongdaemun Stadium, which was demolished to make way for the DDP.
From the photos above, you can tell that this design plaza has changed and pushed what's possible in
terms of experiences through spaces in Seoul as well as architecture.
I hate the word innovative, because I went to a design school but... The Dongdaemun Design Plaza is
truly and undeniably innovation for the city of Seoul and as Andrew Stokols has put it
"a dramatic new addition to Seoul's growing reputation as a city of the future."
For more pondering thoughts and opinions about the Dongdaemun Design Plaza as a "Cultural Center,"
check out Andrew Stokol's great articlehere.
Address : 서울특별시 중구 을지로 281
Seoul-si > All Area
Dongdaemun History & Culture Park Station (Seoul Subway Line 2, 4 ,5), Exit 1.