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  • Level 1 Security Facility, Restricted for 41 Years, Reopened as “Culture Park” on September 1st

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  • Mapo Oil Depot, a Level 1 security facility situated west of the Sangam World Cup Stadium that was restricted to the general public for 41 years, has completed its transformation into “Culture Park” a cultural complex that will host year-round festivals, performances, exhibitions and citizens’ markets, and will finally be open to the citizens of Seoul on September 1st (Fri).

    The oil depot was constructed over a three-year period from 1976 to 1978 by the city with the aid of government subsidies. It was built for maintaining a stable supply of oil in the aftermath of the domestic economic crisis caused by the 1973 Arab-Israeli War that led to the first oil crisis.

    Designated as a Level 1 security facility since its inception, it had restricted the access by citizens and, as the plan to build a soccer stadium nearby was established in preparation of the “2002 Korea-Japan World Cup,” it was classified as a risk facility and closed down in November 2000. The facility has since been abandoned and untouched for over a decade.

    Spanning over an area equivalent to that of 22 soccer stadiums (140,022m2), “Mapo Oil Tank Culture Park” features an open space (Cultural Ground, 35,212m2) in which a variety of activities including performances, marketplaces and picnics are possible, while this open space is surrounded by six tanks (T1 through T6, 104,810m2). From the tanks, which are heritage of the industrialization era, to the interior and exterior materials and retaining walls, all of the existing resources were regenerated and recycled, thus applying an urban restoration method.

    Another keyword that describes the Oil Tank Culture Park is “eco-friendly.” All buildings within the facility are cooled and heated by renewable energy that utilizes geothermal heat. Also, everyday sewage and rainwater are recycled and stored in a heavy water processing facility (30-ton) and a rainwater tank (300-ton) for respectively usage in restroom toilets and landscaping. The grand opening to the general public is set for September 1st (Fri) and the citizens’ festival celebrating the beginning of the facility is scheduled for October 14th (Sat).

    For these events, the city has already selected 40 teams that will run programs from the opening date to the end of this year. The teams come from a variety of areas including community, culture, arts and ecology, and will run their programs, such as citizens’ market and music festival, for 3 months.

    Before and After Construction of Mapo Oil Tank Culture Park

    Before and After Construction of Mapo Culture Depot Base
    Before construction

    Before construction
    After construction

    Before and After Construction of Mapo Culture Depot Base
    View of oil reserve tank Stairs installed on oil reserve tank
    View of oil reserve tank Stairs installed on oil reserve tank
    Inside oil reserve tank Pillars inside oil reserve tank
    Inside oil reserve tank Pillars inside oil reserve tank

    Major facilities and purpose of “Mapo Oil Tank Culture Park”

    Facilities Composition of space,
    operational plans
    Major facilities and purpose
    T1 (Pavilion, 554㎡)
    T1
    Capacity: around 120 people
    Multipurpose space for performances, lectures, etc. With the existing retaining wall still standing, the remaining concrete retaining wall is used to create a glass dome similar to the Apple Store in New York City Performance, exhibitions, production workshops, etc.
    T2 (Performance hall, outdoor stage, 2,579㎡)
    T2
    Capacity: around 400 people
    All of the steel parts of existing tanks were removed to turn the upper section into an outdoor stage (1,226㎡) and the underground area as a performance hall (608㎡). When there are no performances, the outdoor stage may be used as a place for strolls and picnics. Lectures, discussions, music performances, festivals, outdoor parties, etc.
    T3
    T3 (Circular tank, 753㎡)
    Reserve tank located in the deepest part of the facility retaining the original form of the tank without any remodeling. Space tours and architecture tours scheduled
    T4 (Cultural Complex, 984㎡)
    T4
    Capacity: around 130 people
    Maintains the original form without any interior or exterior changes and applied with eco-friendly paint, harmless to the human body, to prevent rust. Utilized as a complex cultural space enabling multipurpose events such as media exhibits thanks to video and audio equipment installed inside. Performances, media exhibits, etc.
    T5 (Story Hall, 890㎡)
    T5
    Capacity: around 100 people
    Place where the 40-year history of Mapo Oil Depot can be learned. 12 projectors installed along the internal walls display 360-degree video. Permanent exhibit on the transformation process from the old Oil Reserve Base to the Oil Tank Culture Park
    T6 (Community Center, 2,948㎡)
    T6
    Capacity: around 300 people
    New building constructed by using interior and exterior materials disassembled from Tank #1 and 2. Circular conference room, café, cultural archive, lecture hall, operations office, etc.
    Inside oil reserve tank
    Cultural Ground (35,212㎡)
    Transformed a temporary parking lot to an open space in which a variety of activities may be held. Night markets, music performances, exhibits, farmers’ markets, production culture, etc.

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