02 Jun Seoul’s Regeneration Project: Renewal of Sewoon Plaza
Seoul’s Regeneration Project:
Renewal of Sewoon Plaza
Transformation into cultural site via collaboration of young artists and residents
Sewoon Plaza, where Koreans in their 40s used to buy the latest game machines and a place fondly remembered by those in their 50s as Korea’s first multi-purpose plaza, has attracted public attention again. This is because the historical plaza is undergoing remodeling to prepare for the era of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, which appeals to the younger generation.
Even the Seoul MICE Special Tour coordinator of the Seoul Convention Bureau appears eager to transform the plaza into a tourist spot. The coordinator met associates from the Historic City Center Regeneration Division for Seoul Metropolitan Government and Seoul Biennale of Architecture at the plaza to look for elements that could interest MICE participants.
The action officer of the urban regeneration division said, “It’s important to transform old values into an artistic form toward the direction of what residents and the public sector want. I think we can develop a tour that allows visitors to easily observe the plaza’s characteristics and history. This will allow the younger generation and foreigners to feel intrigued in various ways. Moreover, I think residents will also be satisfied with the results.”
Kang Won Jae, governance coordinator of Sewoon Plaza, said, “We interviewed residents at the plaza to create seven tour courses based on the history and stories of people at the plaza.”
The tours allow people to experience Sewoon Plaza’s history through the following themes. First, “Looking at Seoul through Sewoon” explains how and when the plaza was built, and it was constructed based on Seoul’s urban development plan to show the changes the city endured to become what it is today. Second, “Click! Capture Sewoon“ portrays moments where the past and present coexists. Third, “Younger Generation’s Artworks in Sewoon“ describes the atmosphere of younger artists that can be felt at the plaza. Fourth, “Rowdy Photo Booth“ consists of taking pictures of the plaza while listening to the guide’s instructions. Fifth, “Builders of Sewoon“ features the people recalling the policies applied to the plaza over the decades to share laughter and tears. Moreover, a direction route finding map called “What Must We Change?“ explains the changes the plaza needs. On top of this, people can listen to the audio used for over 30 years at stores as part of “Listening to Sewoon’s Map“ theme.
Various forms of art displayed all over Sewoon Plaza make for an interesting walk around the venue. The courtyards on the third and fifth floors were previously used for fashion shows and events. Moreover, the rooftop is being transformed into an observatory, rest area and more.
Seoul Metropolitan Government and the Seoul Design Foundation will also introduce Sewoon Plaza as a newly remodeled urban regeneration project at the opening ceremony of the 2017 Seoul Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism (Aug. 31~Sept. 3).
After a gradual transformation of the plaza’s atmosphere, Sewoon, through the biennale, will emerge as a new tour course and unique venue.