Recently we attended Seoul Fashion Week, one of the most anticipated fashion week in Asia in recent years. Something very special about this particular fashion week was the opening of its mega design complex - Dongdaemun Design Plaza (DDP). The Dongdaemun area changed quite a bit in the past 4 years of our constant travel to Seoul, but some things just never change, like the 3 elements basic elements that made up Dongdaemun - Design, Dream and Play, which became DDP's fundamental design concept.
Designed by Zaha Hadid, a Iraqi-British Pritzker Prize winner, the DDP officially opened its doors on March 21, the first day of Seoul Fashion Week. The plaza features futuristic design, with a spaceship-like exterior and lots of curve lines that represents characteristic of Hadid's previous projects. The exterior of the building features a curvy shaped facade comprised of 45,000 pieces of aluminum panels in various sizes and curvatures. At DDP, there is an interesting architectural landscape that revolves around the ancient city wall and cultural artifacts discovered during archaeological excavations preceding DDP's construction.
"The design integrates the park and plaza seamlessly as one, blurring the boundary between architecture and nature in a continuous, fluid landscape," said Zaha Hadid Architects in a statement. In fact, I got lost many times in this gigantic plaza, but thanks to the helpful information screen throughout the plaza, I was able to find my way around easily. Designed with 8 floors above ground, and 4 below, the variety of public spaces within DDP include Exhibition Halls, Convention Halls, Design Museum, Library, Lab and Archives, Children's Education Centre, Media Centre, Seminar Rooms and Sky Lounge; enabling DDP to present the widest diversity of exhibitions and events that feed the cultural vitality of the city. Surrounding the plaza is also the transportation and cultural hub, not only connecting to surround businesses in Dongdaemun, but also a place with many shops, restaurants and cafes available around the clock.
Going forward, DDP will host fashion & design related events, concerts, conventions and other major events throughout the year. This feature will kick off our Seoul fashion week feature, which we saw many young talented designers taking inspirations from Paris, Milan and New York.
Be sure to include DDP as your next destination in Seoul, on top of all the shopping and dining! With a completely different vibe during the day and night, this is also a great place for photography. DDP is now the new destination to hangout for local art and design crowd, with people dressed in trendy fashion snapping inspirations and to get away from the city noise.
For more detail on DDP, you can check out:
Euljiro 7-ga, Jung-gu, Seoul
Open 24 hours
Text by Leon Yuan, photo & video courtesy of Zaha Hadid