Dongdaemun Design Park

DDP

Wow, from this angle it looks like a shark. It has also been likened to a spaceship. Anyway, the newly opened and controversial Dongdaemun Design Park is certainly not bland! It has been built in place of the baseball stadium – the country’s first sport’s stadium – that was knocked down several years ago. Only the baseball stadium lights (below) are left as a reminder of the past… Continue reading “Dongdaemun Design Park” »

Working in Gangnam

I was working in the GT Tower (Garak Tower) in Gangnam today. I think it’s one of the most striking buildings in Seoul and stands out in Gangnam too as it really is one of a kind. The building, shaped like a wave, is 130 metres high and designed by Dutch architects. The office inside had calm lighting and floor to ceiling windows with great views across the city. And it had stylish grey concrete bathrooms with dimmed lighting I’d expect to find in a swanky restaurant, rather than an office!

 

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Samsung Life Insurance Building

 

This is a  good meeting place in Seoul since the building is so distinctive. Jongno Tower/Samsung Life Insurance Building is opposite Bosingak Bell Pavilion   and by Jongak Station (subway line 1). A glass elevator (sweaty palms) can take you up to the 33rd floor and the Top Cloud bar and Fusion Restaurant. I haven’t eaten here but I have been for some overpriced drinks  several times. The seating is cheapo plastic and the drinks aren’t great, but it’s the location and view that you pay for. And the toilets – I especially recommend visiting the bathroom here. Because this is without a doubt the most impressive ladies loo I have ever visited. The walls are made of glass  from top to bottom giving an amazing view right out across the city. Even the lighting is cool and the design of the washbowls is ultra modern. I can’t go too close to the window with my fear of heights though. My hands are sweating as I type just thinking about it.

Samsung Ipark

 On my way to the COEX, a large shopping mall in Samsung-dong, I passed Samsung IPARK - one of the most expensive apartment buildings in Seoul. It’s built by Hyundai Development Company and the cheapest price for a flat (182.87 m squared) is 2,700,000,000 won (about 1.5 million British pounds) to buy, or 8 million won per month to rent! We can see the IPARK Tower in the distance on the left which is opposite the COEX. On the right of this picture behind the trees is the prestigious Gyeunggi High School for Boys. Chungdahm station (line number 7, exit 2).

Shopping at D-Cube City

I don’t normally enjoy shopping in big shopping centres, but yesterday we went to have a look at the new and swanky D-Cube City at Sindorim station (number 1 or 2 line) Wow. The building is such a beautiful design, open and airy, with waterfalls, soft lines and not too harsh lighting. Lots of well-known brands are here plus outdoor cafes, a theatre, arts centre, and plenty of Korean and foreign restaurants – particularly Japanese.  (we had some ramen – not bad). Mama Mia is on at the theatre at the moment, but I’ve already seen that twice. (in Korean – the first time with English subtitles!)

The building has 41 floors but the top half is taken up by the Sheraton Hotel.  It wasn’t too busy in the shopping centre (although the 4th floor was pretty hectic as it’s dedicated to kids – there was a long line-up waiting to get in to the Pororo Park) so we could take our time and wander around. Looking again at the photos, I think that the architecture really has a space age feel. I got sweaty palms taking some of the photos looking down from the higher floors as you can see all the way down and I’m not good with heights…