The giant grey architectural work located in the Dongdaemun district of Seoul is one of the most well-recognized landmarks of the city.
Dongdaemun Design Plaza, more commonly known as DDP, is the world's largest three-dimensional amorphous architecture designed by late architect Zaha Hadid. It's built with some 45,000 aluminum panels and has no straight lines or walls.
Since its opening in 2014, DDP has been serving as a cultural hub hosting 186 exhibitions and 478 events year-round. Asia's biggest fashion event, Seoul Fashion Week is also held here twice a year bringing in fashion lovers, designers, and buyers from all around the world.
"DDP has become an international landmark. It is one of the most visited spots in Seoul by foreigners. We have had more visitors than we initially expected and have seen DDP contribute to the vitalization of surrounding shops."
To mark its 5th anniversary, DDP is offering special tours to 88 citizens inside the iconic building. Visitors will get a chance to see some hidden places that have never been opened for the public, including the control room, warehouse, and machine room.
Passing through the backdoors, visitors can peek at the behind-the-scenes operations that keep this giant piece of architecture running smoothly.
People can get a better understanding of DDP's unique design by looking at the inside structure of the roof. At a space right below the roof, visitors can see the space frame that sustains the building without pillars.
The highlight of the special tour is going up to the rooftop. The initial design of the building was supposed to allow the public access to the rooftop but that changed when the ceiling got higher during the construction process. While wearing safety gear, visitors can get a rare panorama view of the Dongdaemun area.
Although only 4 special tours are planned for the 5th anniversary, if there's more demand, it could become a regular program. Various exhibitions and events are also lined up to mark the occasion.
"Now being recognized as a global design hub, Dongdaemun Design Plaza hopes to expand its role in the local community and help local design businesses in the coming years."
Lee Min-sun Arirang News.