Marronnier Park, which is located in Seoul’s Dongsung-dong area, reopened last year after undergoing renovations. Now an open space without surrounding walls, the transformed park has reemerged as a central location for culture and the arts. The red-brick Arco Art Center, which is located at the back of the park, continues to be a major symbol of the park.
Mostly featuring exhibitions of modern Korean artists, the Arco Art Center first opened its doors in 1979 as “Marronnier Art Gallery” under the direction of the Korea Arts and Culture Education Service, which chose the former site of Seoul National University as the location for the museum.
With its low rental fee, it made a name for itself as a major exhibition space in the Korean art community, which was struggling at the time.
Kim Swoo-geun, the designer of the Arco Art Center building, is a first-generation Korean architect who greatly broadened the horizons of modern Korean architecture. An article in Time magazine referred to Kim as the “Lorenzo of Seoul,” comparing him to Lorenzo de Medici, the Italian Renaissance giant who was known for supporting artists.