Zaha Hadid's glimmering 'cultural hub of Seoul' opens with fashion, flair [slideshow]
The new space, the Dongdaemun Design Plaza, is a blend of park and cultural spaces meant for the public to enjoy.
Dongdaemun Design Plaza (DDP), a 30,000-square-meter park in one of Seoul's historic districts, opened to the public last week.
To establish the development's status as a cultural hub and catalyst for innovation, city officials hosted Seoul Fashion Week at the flowing, futuristic multiplex. In the coming months, the DDP will host five separate art and design exhibitions, according to Zaha Hadid Architects.
The public spaces within the DDP include a design museum, children's education center, and media center, as well as convention and exhibition halls.
The park sections incorporate concepts of traditional Korean garden design, like horizontality, layering, and fusing the interior and exterior spaces. Ultimately, no single feature is meant to dominate the design, according to Hadid.
Historic painting traditions depict aspects of nature to further the association between the park and those traditional design principles.
The DDP integrates the park and the plaza, intending to be a "green oasis" in the midst of urban Dongdaemun, the firm said.
The exterior envelope comprises more than 45,000 metal panels varying in size and curvature. It incorporates a range of perforation and pixelation patterns in order to create dynamic visual effects that change with the season and time of day. At certain times, the façade appears as a solid sheet of metal; at others, it seems to be made up of moving parts, according to the blog ILikeArchitecture.
Before DDP's construction, archaelogical and cultural artifacts were discovered in the area. DDP is built around these, as well as an ancient wall still standing in the area.
"These historic features form the central element of DDP's composition: linking the park, plaza, and city together," said the architect.