Mapo Oil Reserve Base, which is adjacent to Maebongsan, Mapo-gu, is set to be transformed to be ‘Culture Depo Park” and scheduled to be opened in 2016. The old oil reserve base of 11,510㎡ used to contain 1.31 million barrels of oil in its five storage tanks, of which sizes ranged from 15 to 38 diameters and 15 meter in full height.
The total size of the reserve base is about 8 times larger than Seoul plaza. The opening of Culture Depot Park will mark the renewal of the reserve base 14 years after it became obsolete and deserted in 2000.
Early this year, Seoul Metropolitan Government decided that the old oil reserve base would be renewed into eco-friendly culture complex and serve for the public, and held a competition with a theme of ‘Environment and Recycle’ from May 20 to August 12. On August 25 (Mon), SMG announced that ‘Petro – Reading the story of the site’ by Baek Jung-Yeol and other two architects from RoA Architecture Co. won the ‘International Competition for Rehabilitating Mapo Oil Depot into a Cultural Depot Park’.
For 84 days of the competition, the total of 96 pieces entered the contest, in which 227 architects submitted their works for the contest, including 53 foreign architects from 16 countries. The interest in the contest was also palpable in the on-site orientation for design on July 2 where 220 architects attended.
‘Petro – Reading the story of the site’ design demonstrated re-interpretation of the space across the past and present, by filling up the five storage tanks with performance stage with 200 seats, outer stage, design and exhibition hall, of which themes and usage are closely aligned.
SMG plans to complete the architecture and construction by late 2016 opening. The city government expected that upon completion of the eco-friendly, cultural complex, the place will serve as the hub for culture and ecosystem of the northwestern area of Seoul, aligned with the nearby World Cup Stadium and the World Cup Park.
More notably, the renewal project traces back the history of the five storage tanks; why they were constructed and what functions they have played, and reconstructs the historical context into the language of our time, thereby focusing on the urban regeneration role of the depot that enlivens geographic and historical values of the site.
SMG plans to reveal the Mapo Oil Depot transformed into a Cultural Depot Park to architects from around the world in 2017, who will visit Seoul to attend the 2017 world congress of ‘UIA(International Union Of Architects)’. The union has about 1.3 million members from 123 countries.
Mapo Mapo Oil reserve base has a unique historical value: during 1970s, two times of oil crisis led the government to launch the oil reserve project for national energy security and the five massive storage tanks were set up at the foot of Maebongsan.
But the place was largely forgotten since its abolition of use in 2000. On the contrary, nearby Sanamdong was revived to be the hub of cutting edge digital media industry and Nanjido landfills was reborn to be the World Cup Park.
A research to identify how to utilize the potential and values of the site was initiated since Mayor Park Won Soon visited the site after his inauguration, and through a number of public discussions, including idea contest and public forum, where citizens, students, experts participated, a public consensus was constructed that the site should be renewed into a ‘eco-friendly culture complex’. A basic blue print was revealed in Jan, this year.
The site for this International Competition marks the first stage of blueprint announced by SMG. The second stage covers parking areas, which will be developed and cultivated in line with the first stage as a base for Sangam industrial growth. The total size for first and second stages extends to approximately 146,245㎡, about 11 times larger than the Seoul Plaza.
Lee Je-won, the director of Urban Planning of SMG said, “I believe we presented a new model for public development with this renewal project of Mapo Oil Reserve base, which focuses on how things are get done, not just what are achieved in the end. Without wide public discussion such as idea contest, civic forum and expert workshops, it would have been impossible to come up with the best idea to have the old oil reserve base reborn into a place for every citizen, which was largely deserted as the surrounding landfills were renewed into parks, and Sangam area was revitalized to be the Digital Media City. With the awarded architect design that can lead the urban regeneration trend by seeking to utilize the unique values of the site, we are committed to making this place a new landmark of Seoul.”