Located at basements 1 and 2 of the New City Hall with total floor area of 7,842m2, Citizens’ Hall opened its doors on Saturday, January 12. The dedication ceremony began at 11:00 with the unveiling of the signboard of Citizens’ Hall featuring the logo of a big human ear, a symbol of the city’ commitment to be attentive to others’ voices.
In Chinese characters (many Korean words can be written in Chinese characters), the name of the place includes a special Chinese character. As the last letter in “Si-min-cheong” (Citizens’ Hall), “cheong” is written as “聽” (listening) instead of “廳” (a government office). The Seoul Metropolitan Government wanted to emphasize the fact that Citizens’ Hall is a space designed for the municipal government to listen to citizens’ voices instead of one-way communication from the government to the citizens. It is also an open space that is to be completed through citizens’ creativity.
Commitment to “listening” and “communication” is evident in many locations of the hall. The hall’s exit to subway line 2 features an artwork with bottles that are to be filled with citizens’ various messages whatever they are. The rear exit of the hall showcases another public artwork featuring a number of umbrellas symbolizing the municipal government’s commitment to serving the citizens as their umbrellas.
The main entrance welcomes visitors with greetings from the sister cities of Seoul around the world in their own languages.
The dedication ceremony was attended by more than 200 people including Mayor Park Won soon, Honorary Vice Mayor Park Jong hwa, several city councilors, and child reporters such as 3rd and 5th graders Gwak Su ho and Park Su min, respectively.
Following the ceremony, the mayor himself led a guided tour of the entire hall for hundreds of visitors, which was broadcast on “Won soon tv”
Citizens’ Hall, Seoul Library, and Sky Plaza are all physically connected, with the same opening and closing hours
With the opening of Citizens’ Hall, City Hall, Citizens’ Hall, Seoul Library, and Sky Plaza are now physically connected. Seoul Library is directly accessible from basement 2 of Citizens’ Hall. Seoul Library, Sky Plaza, and Citizens’ Hall have the same opening and closing hours (from 9 to 9) for citizens’ convenience, and they are all closed on Mondays. On Thursday, January 10, two days prior to the official opening, Citizens’ Hall was unveiled to the public to introduce a variety of events scheduled for the opening day.
An unconventional design concept with atypical space arrangement and punching metals for walls and ceilings, the mobilization of Ten Colors of Seoul
Citizens’ Hall has adopted an unconventional design concept that matches the extraordinary design of the New City Hall. Most of the space is movable, and the ceilings have punching metals as final touches.
The Ten Seoul Colors including red, green, and yellow are used for the walls and ceilings to express the increasing diversity of Seoul. The colors make the facility even more pleasant for a wide variety of visitors including children, teens, homemakers, and seniors.
Movable walls at Open Lounge, Circular Room, and Event Hall
There are quite a few changeable spaces in Citizens’ Hall. For one, Open Lounge (B1) designed for performances or relaxation can be reconfigured depending on the purpose.
Circular Room (B2) can change to a public square depending on the situation. Ideal for lovers’ vows, coming-of-age ceremonies, and various music performances, Event Hall (B2)) is equipped with an indoor floating stage that is available for photo or video shoots.
As a replica of the beautiful space having the same name in the old City Hall, Taepyeong Hall can be used as a policy café, a Citizen’s Hall academy, or a venue for a talk concert or a wedding ceremony. Its walls are also movable.
Basement 1 of Citizens’ Hall is open to the public, whereas Basement 2 is largely rental space.
Basement 1 houses Gungisi (weapons factory during the Joseon Dynasty) Relics Exhibition Hall, Sound Gallery, Speaker’s Corner, Floating Cloud Gallery, Media Wall, Fair Trade Store Global Village, Citizens’ Hall Gallery, City Gallery, Tok Tok Design Shop (Danuri), Souvenir Shop, and Bookstore. Basement 2 features Basrak Hall, Event Hall, Public Square, Workshop Room, and Taepyeong Hall.
Wedding Ceremonies, Open Markets, and Concerts all beginning on the opening day
In celebration of the opening of the hall, a variety of events were held such as policy café, open market, concert, speeches at the speaker’s corner, wedding ceremony, and workshop.
At 4 o’clock on the opening day (Saturday), a policy café was held at the Workshop Room (B2). With 50 citizens in attendance, the challenges and directions of Seoul in 2013 were discussed.
At 3 o’clock on Sunday, the same space hosted “A Village for the Elderly,” a theatrical performance by citizens to address the issue of the elderly in Seoul as one of the hottest topics in town.
From 11 to 5 on Saturday, Citizen Plaza, the largest space in Citizens’ Hall, housed an open market for various handicrafts made by citizens under the theme “Dexterity.”
Open Lounge (B1) featured a series of diverse small-scale concerts ranging from gospel music, dance, magic, performance art, and poetry reading.
Speaker’s Corner was moved from Cheonggyecheon(Stream) to B1 of the hall, and it will remain open during the operating hours. To celebrate the opening, citizens’ speeches at the corner were broadcast live on the Internet between one and two o’clock on Saturday, January 12. All the speeches at the corner are videotaped to enable the city administration to take appropriate measures.
At noon on Saturday, Taepyeong Hall featured the wedding of Kwon Jun myeong and Seo Hyun jin, the first couple to wed at Citizens’ Hall. The couple got lucky during a public contest in November 2012.
66 wall-mounted monitors call for citizens’ participation in city administration, with 45 ceiling-mounted monitors presenting the citizens’ diverse smiles
Citizens’ Hall features a wide variety of exciting video images on 45 and 66 monitors on the ceiling and walls of Basement 1, respectively.
Until the end of March 2013, Floating Cloud Gallery (B1) will play a video show titled “Your smiles are the flower of Seoul.” On the other hand, Media Wall features a show calling for citizens’ participation, titled “The power of a single person changes the world.”
Have a free family picture taken by a professional, get a framed picture as a gift
Citizens’ Hall Gallery (B1) offers families free photo-taking service by professional photographers. When one agrees to display one’s family photo at the gallery, a framed photo is presented as a gift delivered later.
Sound Gallery (B1) features Seoul’s various sounds such as children’s laughter during lunch breaks at school and the sounds of auction at Noryangjin Fish Market. Visitors hear these sounds while walking along a corridor equipped with a surround audio system.
Gungisi Relics Exhibition Hall showcases the various historical relics unearthed during the excavation for the construction of the New City Hall. They include building relics, shoreline protection, cannon, and arrowheads.
City Gallery (B1) features the history of Seoul, the construction processes of the New City Hall, other interesting stories of Seoul, and the major policies of the Seoul Metropolitan Government.
Danuri and Fair Trade Store Global Village: for relaxation, social economy, and community
Tok Tok Design Shop (Danuri & Souvenir Shop) and Bookstore on Basement 1 sell a variety of souvenirs, innovative products, and books on stories of Seoul, among others.
Catering to youth startups, social enterprises, and small enterprises, Danuri provides marketing support in addition to free store space for the first few months.
Souvenir Shop sells artworks by Seoul Art Space member artists, Design Tag products, and various idea products.
Near the staircase leading to the basement from the ground floor lobby of the New City Hall is a bookstore stocked with books on stories of Seoul.
As a café serving coffee and cookies, Fair Trade Store Global Village complies with the criteria for fair trade. Information Center (B1) is staffed with four clerks providing information on City Hall, Citizens’ Hall, and tours of Seoul in four languages: Korean, English, Chinese, and Japanese. The signboard at the Information is also written in four languages.
Visitors can join a free combined guided tour of the New City Hall and Citizens’ Hall led by a registered culture and tour guide.
For inquiries, contact: Citizen Communication Officer (Tel. : +82-2-2133-6417)