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  • Japanese-Built Government-General Building Returns to Citizens for the First Time in 82 Years at Opening Ceremony of “Seoul Hall of Urbanism & Architecture”

  • SMG 1419
    The City of Seoul completed construction of the “Seoul Hall of Urbanism & Architecture,” located on the site of the old Namdaemun Tax Office annex that was demolished in 2015, and held the Hall’s opening ceremony on March 28. In 2015, in celebration of the 70th anniversary of Korea’s liberation, Seoul announced its plans to tear down the old tax office annex that was a vestige of Japanese occupation and replace it with a citizens’ cultural space to restore the breath of the Korean Empire and its historical significance.

    The “Seoul Hall of Urbanism & Architecture” was built between the ground floor and three floors below ground, at a total area of 2,998㎡. On the ground floor is a citizen’s plaza that aligns with the goal to “restore original landscape through emptiness,” and the three underground levels are the home to the first national Hall of Urbanism & Architecture. A new underground pedestrian passageway that connects Seoul Citizens Hall to City Hall Station was built on the second underground floor.

    Construction of the Seoul Hall of Urbanism & Architecture is just one of Seoul’s “Sejong-daero Historic Cultural Space Creation Project” that restores both the historicity of the damaged Sejong-daero and the original landscape of Seoul, returning it to the people. The key goals of this project are to create a citizens’ space that sits in harmony with historical and cultural resources near the old tax office annex, and to strengthen the pedestrian network in the nearby areas.

    Along with the opening ceremony, there will be a special exhibition with the theme, “The Past, Present, and Future of Seoul Urbanism and Architecture,” that will be on display until June 2. The exhibition was planned in order to share with citizens the preparatory plans for public residency in response to the changing social environment and the future, and to share cases and roles of public residency in which various generations can coexist. All citizens can visit the exhibition for free between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. More information about the exhibition can be found at the Seoul Hall of Urbanism & Architecture website (http://www.seoulhour.kr/), and inquiries can be made to the Seoul Hall of Urbanism & Architecture (☎ 02-736-8050).

    ⓒ Lee Hyun-jun

    ⓒ Lee Hyun-jun