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16.7.15

Seoul「서울시」: Dongdaemun Design Plaza「동대문 디자인플라자」

Dongdaemun Design Plaza by Zaha Hadid and Samoo

Sometimes you come back to a place to realize a huge - yet somewhat sudden - change. This was more or less my feeling the day I jumped off the train on a shopping spree mission. At the exit of the train station there is this map of buildings, featuring Doota, Migliore and other malls I've heard of. But then, what is that humongous blob that is taking over an entire block? Dongdaemun Design Plaza?

Dongdaemun Design Plaza by Zaha Hadid and Samoo

DDP is the result of 5 years of work between Zaha Hadid and Samoo, a Korean Architecture firm behind Incheon airport, among others. The complex is quite cool, with organic shapes and a multitude of corridors that host a park, stores and exhibitions. It replaces the old Dongdaemun Stadium with something more "design oriented" and was completed in March 2014 - hence my surprise.

There were Dior posters all over the place, so I went around to come in and see the exhibition - what an awesome opportunity...

Dongdaemun Design Plaza by Zaha Hadid and Samoo

However, I didn't get lucky. There were too many limos, too many chicks covered in Dior, too many men in black. Still, I thought it could be another event in the same building so I made it to the door... To realize that it was the OPENING!!! Many celebrities were arriving at the moment for the Dior exhibition.

Dongdaemun Design Plaza by Zaha Hadid and Samoo
Dongdaemun Design Plaza by Zaha Hadid and Samoo
As you can see at the bottom of the image, fans were gathering to cheer their idols.
Dongdaemun Design Plaza by Zaha Hadid and Samoo
Dongdaemun Design Plaza by Zaha Hadid and Samoo
Fancy cars, fancy guys and a huge crew dressed in black.
Dongdaemun Design Plaza by Zaha Hadid and Samoo
I kept the postcard... And continued my way. Maybe next time, maybe next city.
Dongdaemun Design Plaza by Zaha Hadid and Samoo

Zaha Hadid also designed a bridge in my hometown, I really like the shapes she creates. The balance between very industrial materials and soft shapes, the minimal grandeur on the twisting concrete corridors that lead to an open park, all covered on rose-shaped lamps.

Dongdaemun Design Plaza by Zaha Hadid and Samoo
Dongdaemun Design Plaza by Zaha Hadid and Samoo
Dongdaemun Design Plaza by Zaha Hadid and Samoo
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