Dongdaemun Design Plaza opens to public

SEOUL, March 21 (Yonhap) -- The Seoul municipal government unveiled a spaceship-shaped multipurpose cultural center in the city's shopping district of Dongdaemun on Friday, with hopes it will become the capital's most prominent landmark.

Designed by Iraqi-British architect Zaha Hadid, a winner of the Pritzker Prize, the 500 billion won (US$463 million) Dongdaemun Design Plaza (DDP) opened its doors to the public with a ceremony to mark the occasion.

The center consists of five halls that will be used for conventions and cultural events such as concerts and exhibitions throughout the year.

The Seoul Design Foundation, the city-run operator of the DDP, said the center and its surrounding park will be open to the public 24 hours a day because the Dongdaemun area usually attracts large numbers of nighttime shoppers.

The opening of the plaza will be marked by Seoul Fashion Week and special exhibitions, including Hadid's "360 degrees" and a showcase of the most prized works from Gansong Art Museum's collection of traditional Korean art.

The 2014 F/W Seoul Fashion Week is set to kick off in the afternoon for a six-day run.

The festival will feature some 60 shows by established designers such as Lie Sang-bong, Kang Dong-jun and Gee Chun-hee in the main "Seoul Collection" category, while 17 up-and-coming designers will show off their designs in the "Asia Generation Next" program.

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