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  • World-class Arts and Culture Landmark Han River Art Island to be Completed by 2014

  • Integrated News SMG 4111

    Eye-catching design inspired by images of Korean traditional dance and spectacular views of the Han River

    An arts and culture landmark in the likes of Sydney’s Opera House and Spain’s Guggenheim Museum Bilbao is coming to Seoul’s Han River in 2014. This world-class cultural center, the ‘Han River Art Island’, will be built on Nodeul Island in the middle of the Han River.

    Architect Seung-hong Park was selected through an international design contest held last year to head the design of this new monumental structure. The Han River Art Island is inspired by images of a traditional Korean dancer, especially in the shape of the roof and roof line. The design embodies both artistic creativity and the traditional concept of Korean beauty.

    The walls of the exterior are designed in the form of waves to blend in with the beauty of the Han River, while emphasis on the horizontal lines gives an illusion of a bird softly nestled on the Han River especially when viewed from the south.

    The majestic roof will be built with a stainless steel finish, and tens of thousands of LED on the glass roof lining the sides of the structure will be used to emit different hues and forms of light beams depending on the time of day or the season.

    The architectural motif of dance is portrayed both at daytime and night time. Light from inside the building shines out through the holes in the roof. Elegant colors and textures of natural material add to the stability of the design. In the central square surrounded by performance halls in the east lies a glass and steel structure. It’s as if the art work is displayed in the center for all audiences in the performance halls to watch.

    As a major viewpoint in the Gangbyeon Expressway and Olympic Expressway, the Han River Art Island will make the most of the island’s natural beauty such as its scenic sunrise and sunset. There will be a viewing platform, a pedestrian deck, etc. and the complex will be designed so that stunning views of the Han River can be seen from the Opera House, Symphony Hall and all corners of the Art Island.

    More than just a performance venue! Enjoy the scenic café, art museum and other convenience facilities

    The Han River Art Island will cover an area of 99,102㎡ and will house an opera house, symphony hall, and a multi-purpose theater in the east and a scenic café, art museum, exhibition hall, outdoor performance stage, and eco-park. Of the 3 main performance halls that will make up this world-class performance venue, the opera house will be designed to accommodate not only operas but also ballets and musicals. It will cover a total floor area of 24,981㎡ and will be 8-storeys high with 2 basement floors. The seating area for the audience will be in the shape of a horseshoe and will seat up to 1,751.

    There will be 4 T-shaped stages and a soundproof rehearsal stage to provide the best stage facilities in the world.
    The entire wall of the lobby exterior will be made of a transparent glass curtain wall for a view of the scenic Han River. Details of the opera house’s interior were planned carefully, from the choice of floor material to the choice of ceiling material to provide the best sound effects.

    The 2,100-seat symphony hall will cover an area of 21,062㎡ and will consist of 8 floors. The hall will be in the shape of a shoe box. The Seoul Philharmonic will be the resident orchestra. World-class concert hall acoustics will be installed. Great pains will especially be taken regarding the echo and sound pressure so that the sounds from the orchestra will reach the audience in the best possible form.

    The multi-purpose performance hall will cover an area of 5,666㎡ from the 2nd to the 7th floor. The hall will seat 320~490 and will support a variety of stage configurations like arena, T-shape, proscenium etc. to accommodate a diverse range of performances and events like plays, chamber music, traditional Korean plays (madang-guk), fashion shows, and international conferences.

    A park where anyone, from people with disabilities, women, the general public, to tourists can relax and feel at home

    The Seoul Metropolitan Government plans to make the Han River Art Island a first-rate barrier-free physical environment that also caters to people with disabilities and women. The Han River Art Island will be a place where anyone can relax and enjoy themselves, whether they’ve come to watch a performance or just relax.

    All outdoor squares and pedestrian decks will be made barrier-free. People with disabilities can access the Art Island through the elevator which will be installed in the central bus lane on the Hangangdaegyo. The Han River Art Island already received preliminary certification as a first-rate barrier-free environment by the Korea Disabled People’s Development Institute. Plans are underway to build women’s and family toilets and a woman’s parking zone. The site will accommodate a scenic cafe, art museum, exhibition hall, and special shopping zone. There will also be an outdoor music park on the site’s gardens, a row of poplar trees, Eulalie fields that sway with the wind, and the Han River’s own ‘sandy beach’.

    Environment-friendly complex powered by new renewable energy from the Han River

    Another characteristic of the Han River Art Island is that it will be built with energy conservation and environment-friendly features to adapt to the era of the Convention on Climate Change and high oil prices.

    The Seoul Metropolitan Government is preparing for certification as a first-rate environment-friendly building by setting up a system in the Han River Art Island to supply 21.7% of total energy from new renewable energy. Various energy sources like hydrothermal energy, geothermal energy, solar energy, and fuel cells will be used. Cooling and heating systems will rely 90% on natural sources like the Han River’s water and geothermal energy. We expect this to be a good demonstrational project that other architectural structures near rivers can benchmark.