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The 85,000 square metre Dongdaemun Design Plaza designed by Zaha Hadid Architects will establish a learning resource for designers and members of the public with a design museum, library and educational facilities, whilst the 30,000 square metre Park will create a green oasis within the dense urban surroundings of Dongdaemun, Seoul. The form of the Dongdaemun Design Plaza and Park revolves around the ancient city wall, which forms the central element of the composition, creating a continuous landscape that physically links the park and plaza together. The fluid language of the design, by inference and analogy, acts as a catalyst by promoting fluid thinking and interaction across all the design disciplines, whilst also encouraging the greatest degree of interaction between the activities of the Plaza and the public.

The new Dongdaemun Park creates a place for leisure, relaxation, and refuge. The design integrates the Park and Plaza seamlessly as one landscape element, blurring the boundary between architecture and nature. Informed by the Korean painting traditions depicting grand visions of the ever-changing aspects of nature, the Park reinterprets elements of traditional Korean garden design: reflecting pools, lotus ponds, pebble beds and bamboo groves, with no single feature dominating the perspective. The external landscape of the Park transforms Seoul into a greener city by folding into the internal shopping/dining areas below. Numerous voids, undulations and depressions give park visitors glimpses into innovative world of design and allow Dongdaemun Design Plaza and Park to be an important link between the city’s contemporary culture, historic artefacts and emerging nature.

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