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Dongdaemun Design Plaza

  • Seoul, South Korea
  • 2007 – 2014
  • Seoul Metropolitan Government
  • Complete
  • Building: 86,574m²
  • Site: 65,000m²
  • Park: 30,000m²

The DDP has been designed as a cultural hub at the centre of Dongdaemun, an historic district of Seoul that is now renowned for its 24-hour shopping and cafes. DDP is a place for people of all ages; a catalyst for the instigation and exchange of ideas and for new technologies and media to be explored. The variety of public spaces within DDP include Art/Exhibition Halls, Conference Hall, Design Museum/Exhibition Hall/Pathway, Design Labs & Academy Hall, Media Centre, Seminar Rooms and Designers Lounge, Design Market open 24 hours a day; enabling DDP to present the widest diversity of exhibitions and events that feed the cultural vitality of the city.

The DDP is an architectural landscape that revolves around the ancient city wall and cultural artefacts discovered during archaeological excavations preceding DDP’s construction. These historic features form the central element of DDP’s composition; linking the park, plaza and city together.

The design is the very specific result of how the context, local culture, programmatic requirements and innovative engineering come together – allowing the architecture, city and landscape to combine in both form and spatial experience – creating a whole new civic space for the city.

The DDP Park is a place for leisure, relaxation and refuge – a new green oasis within the busy urban surroundings of Dongdaemun. The design integrates the park and plaza seamlessly as one, blurring the boundary between architecture and nature in a continuous, fluid landscape. Voids in the park’s surface give visitors glimpses into the innovative world of design below, making the DDP an important link between the city’s contemporary culture, emerging nature and history.

The 30,000 square meter park reinterprets the spatial concepts of traditional Korean garden design: layering, horizontality, blurring the relationship between the interior and the exterior – with no single feature dominating the perspective. This approach is further informed by historic local painting traditions that depict grand visions of the ever-changing aspects of nature.

DDP encourages many contributions and innovations to feed into each other; engaging the community and allowing talents and ideas to flourish. In combination with the city’s exciting public cultural programs, DDP is an investment in the education and inspiration of future generations.

DDP’s design and construction sets many new standards of innovation. DDP is the first public project in Korea to implement advanced 3-dimensional digital construction services that ensure the highest quality and cost controls. These include 3-dimensional Building Information Modelling (BIM) for construction management and engineering coordination, enabling the design process to adapt with the evolving client brief and integrate all engineering requirements. These innovations have enabled the team building DDP to control the construction with much greater precision than conventional processes and improve efficiencies. Implementing such construction technologies make DDP one of Korea’s most innovative and technological advanced constructions to date.

DDP opens to the public on 21 March 2014 by hosting Seoul Fashion Week. DDP will also host five separate design and art exhibitions featuring works by modern designers as well as the prized collection of traditional Korean art of the Kansong Art Museum. ( )


Zaha Hadid Architects


Zaha Hadid with Patrik Schumacher

Project Leader

Eddie Can Chiu-Fai

Project Managers

Craig Kiner and Charles Walker

Project Team

Kaloyan Erevinov, Hooman Talebi, Matthew Wong, Martin Self, Carlos S. Martinez, Camiel Weijenberg, Florian Goscheff, Maaike Hawinkels, Aditya Chandra, Andy Chang, Arianna Russo, Ayat Fadaifard, Josias Hamid, Shuojiong Zhang, Natalie Koerner, Jae Yoon Lee, Federico Rossi, John Klein, Chikara Inamura, Alan Lu

Competition Team

Kaloyan Erevinov, Paloma Gormley, Hee Seung Lee, Kelly Lee, Andres Madrid, Deniz Manisali, Kevin McClellan, Claus Voigtmann, Maurits Fennis

Local Architect

Samoo Architects & Engineers (Seoul, Korea)

Local Consultants - Structural


Local Consultants - Mechanical

Samoo Mechanical Consulting (SMC)

Local Consultants - Electrical and Telecom

Samoo TEC

Local Consultants - Facade


Local Consultants - Civil

Saegil Engineering & Consulting

Local Consultants - Landscaping

Dong Sim Won

Local Consultants - Fire

Korean Fire Protection Engineering

Local Consultants - Lighting

Huel Lighting Design

Local Consultants - Quantity Survey

Kyoung Won

Local Consultants - Cultural Asset


Local Consultants - Acoustic


Local Consultants - Local Consultants - Noise / Vibration

RMS Technology

Local Consultants - Energy Analytics

Daeil ENC

Local Consultants - Maintenance

Doall CMC

Local Consultants - Environmental Impact

Soosung Engineering

Local Consultants - Planning Permission

Sewon P&D

International Consultants - Structure/M.E.P.F. Services/Lighting/Acoustic

ARUP Engineers

International Consultants - Landsacpe

Gross Max

International Consultants - Facade

Group 5F

International Consultants - Geometry


International Consultants - Quantity Survey

Davis Langdon & Everest