SEOUL, Aug. 27 (Korea Bizwire) – Mapo Oil Depot, located on the hill of Mt. Maebong in Mapo in the west of Seoul and used as oil reserves in the 1970s, is reborn as the “Cultural Depot Park.”
The Seoul Metropolitan city government has planned to transform the oil depot to a new cultural place, holding an international competition for rehabilitating the site from May 20 until August 12. A total of 227 architects including 53 foreign professionals from 16 countries participated in the contest, and 95 entries were submitted.
The first prize is determined to be given to “Petro – Reading the story of the site” designed by Baek Jeong-yeol and his two colleagues on the 25th. The winners utilized five tanks built and buried in Mapo for oil reserves as 200-seat concert halls, outdoor performance stages and exhibition spaces.
The jury including Toyo Ito judged that the winning entry connects the past and the present without demolishing the existing structure.
The city government plans to open the park by the end of 2016 after constructing it with the design by the architects winning the first prize. The government also expects to show the rehabilitated park in front of architects around the world to be present at the general meeting of the International Union of Architects.
In the 1970s, the two oil crises forced the South Korean government to build five oil reserves and stock up on oil, which are an unprecedentedly valuable industrial legacy but have been forgotten for some decades after serving their purposes.
The mayor of Seoul, Park Won-soon, after taking office, visited the site and has strived to utilize it for the public. After a long-time endeavor, Mr. Park announced in January this year that the depot will become a cultural venue.
“We will make the place one of the best spots in Seoul, conserving the traditional characteristics and developing a fresh approach to the site at the same time,” Lee Je-won, chief of the Urban Planning Bureau in the Seoul government, said.
By Veronica Huh (firstname.lastname@example.org)