Zaha Hadid was one of the first world-renowned and Pritzker Prize-winning architects that I came to know and learned about. Her neo-futuristic design style of distinctive curves and shapes are widely recognized. My first encounter with Zaha’s work was the Chanel Mobile Art Project. It was a mobile pavilion art exhibition launched in New York, Paris, London, Moscow, Hong Kong and Tokyo back in 2006-2008. Lots of modern artists participated the exhibition and it was impressive.
Sad to hear that Ms. Hadid passed away in Florida due to a heart attack…
Zaha’s latest completed project is the DDP – Dongdaemun Design Plaza in Seoul, and it was just opened last year! Some iconic buildings in the world, like concert halls, commercial skyscrapers, or museums – they look striking. Yet sometimes you may not be able to “interact” with the structure: They may not be opened to the public, or you need to pay to get in.
Therefore, the great thing about DDP is the openness to the public, and its permanent location so close to the Dongdaemun shopping district. DDP has numerous shops and it constantly holds different exhibitions / commercial event with different themes; People from all walks of life could go inside the building and “enjoy something” with it. I was there just in time to visit the exhibit for the super hit TV show “My Love from the Star” in 2014 :P. The exhibition hall showcased photos and fun facts about the show plus life-size shooting sets.
DDP is also surrounded by Dongdaemun Shopping Complexes and connected to malls. 80% of the textiles traded in South Korea go through the Dongdaemun Complex (So you can imagine the scale). The street food market around Dongdaemun is also excellent. I had dinner @ the “n TABLE” – a buffet-style hot pot where inevitably to try a lot of Korean style fried chicken and kimchi, all I can say is – Good price, nice food. Another place opposite to nTABLE is a dessert place for Patbingsu. Patbingsu is a Korea style shaved ice dessert, usually mixed with condensed milk (love) fruits or beans, refreshing for the boiling summer.