Seoul calls for proposals to build 2nd Sejong Cultural Center in Yeouido

2023.05.16 11:40:02 | 2023.05.16 11:58:21

Yeouido in Seoul, South Korea [Photo provided by Seoul City]이미지 확대

Yeouido in Seoul, South Korea [Photo provided by Seoul City]

Seoul has embarked on an open call for proposals from design firms to construct a second Sejong Cultural Center in Yeouido. The capital city of South Korea aims to position Yeouido, already renowned as a symbol of the country’s financial industry, as a dynamic cultural content hub that captures global attention.

According to the plans unveiled on Monday, the Seoul Metropolitan Government intends to build the second Sejong Cultural Center along the Han River in Yeouido, while also seeking the integration of Yeouido Park and Hangang Park to create a vibrant space that fosters public engagement with various forms of cultural content and promotes a thriving cultural consumption experience.

The design of the second Sejong Cultural Center takes inspiration from a global project for Elbphilharmonie, a concert hall in the HafenCity quarter of Hamburg, Germany, on the Grasbrook peninsula of the Elbe River. The Elbphilharmonie project stands as a remarkable example of a transformative initiative that revolutionized waterfront spaces, redefining the cultural landscape of Hamburg.

Seoul aims to emulate this success by creating a second Sejong Cultural Center that not only complements the existing architectural wonders of Yeouido but also becomes a symbol of excellence in cultural experience.

Yeouido has faced criticism for not fully utilizing its privileged location along the Han River and for failing to establish harmonious connections between the towering office buildings dominating the financial district and the surrounding waterfront areas. The construction of the second Sejong Cultural Center aims to address these concerns by serving as a catalyst for tourism and cultural industries in Yeouido. With its captivating design and comprehensive facilities, the center will attract visitors from all walks of life, offering a platform for diverse cultural activities, performances, exhibitions, and educational programs.

“New York’s Manhattan serves as a global financial center while also being a renowned cultural hub that captivates numerous tourists each year,” said a Seoul city official “We aim to benchmark this model and unlock the immense potential of Yeouido, transforming it into a vibrant cultural destination that resonates with people worldwide.”

Seoul’s plans for Yeouido extend beyond the construction of the second Sejong Cultural Center. A related initiative involves opening Seoul Port in Yeouido by 2026, allowing cruise ships to dock along the Han River. Cruises departing from here are expected to reach other ports and destinations such as Gunsan, Mokpo, and Jeju. The addition of customs and immigration facilities would enhance the area’s potential as a gateway to Korea for visitors from neighboring countries.

Coinciding with these developments is the accelerated progress in real estate projects in Yeouido. The Seoul Metropolitan Government recently relaxed the existing floor area ratio restrictions for apartment redevelopment, permitting the construction of high-rise buildings up to 70 floors. This measure aims to attract investment and promote the creation of modern and sustainable living spaces in Yeouido, catering to the evolving needs of residents and fostering a vibrant community.

By Hong Jang-won and Minu Kim

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