LIFE&STYLE

Platform Changdong 61 looks to be Seoul’s new ‘hot spot’ cultural hub

By KH디지털2

Northeast Seoul undergoing revitalization as future go-to concert arena location

  • Published : May 15, 2016 - 13:15
  • Updated : May 15, 2016 - 17:14

The newly opened Platform Changdong 61 complex -- Seoul’s newest comprehensive cultural hub in Chang-dong, Dobong-gu -- is paving the way for northern Seoul to become the capital’s newest up-and-coming “it” district.  

Located in a revamped parking lot, Platform Changdong 61, a three-story container complex next to Changdong Station, is Seoul’s newest “container” complex, mirroring Seoul’s Common Ground container mall in Gwangjin-gu. 

The newly opened Platform Changdong 61 cultural arts and performance complex located in Dobong-gu. (Yonhap)

The colorful complex features stacks of large industrial containers and stands as a one-stop culture and music hub. Inside the venue are a number of cafes, restaurants and spaces dedicated to the arts, including space for galleries, independent shops and lecture halls.

“The reasons behind establishing Platform Changdong 61 is to have the northeast part of Seoul have culture and arts and a new focal point as well as create a new industry boom,” said Jin Hee-sun, head of the Urban Regeneration Headquarters at the Seoul Metropolitan Government.

The majority of the complex’s educational programs and lectures are being organized under the general supervision of professor Lee Dong-yeon from the Korea National University of Arts, guitarist Shin Dae-chul of Sinawe, fashion model Han Hye-jin and photographer Cho Se-hyun.

The newly opened Platform Changdong 61 cultural arts and performance complex located in Dobong-gu. (Yonhap)

Visitors can register for arts classes and programs on fashion, photography and more.

“To be honest, the location is not something that attracts me very much because it’s far and a bit out of the way,” fashion designer Lee Jin-ah told The Korea Herald. “However, regardless of the location, if I know that there’s going to be an interesting class or lecture, I will make the effort and go to Chang-dong.”

“Specifically, as someone in the fashion industry, knowing that model Han Hye-jin is in some way involved and that she will be holding fashion-related classes at Platform Changdong 61, to me, sounds like a great opportunity to learn from someone with the know-how,” Lee added. 

Fashion model Han Hye-jin teaches a class at the Platform Changdong 61. (Yonhap)

“While Chang-dong is definitely not an area that comes to mind when my friends and I are thinking about where to hang out, I think the neighborhood has the potential to attract more creative and artistic types,” she says.

Along with its plethora of educational arts programs, one of the complex’s biggest features is its “Red Box” container space, a live stage performance venue which hosts small-scale concerts every week, including free shows every Wednesday. In the past month, the stage has played host to big-name acts including Jang Kiha and the Faces, Sinawe, Lee Hi, MC Meta and DOK2.

“Platform 61 is the latest space for diverse music, cultural exhibitions and innovative ideas to find a home in one place,” rocker Shin said in a recent media interview. “An area that was once virtually void of culture and arts, Seoul’s northeast region will hereafter be able to compete as an up-and-coming hub of culture and arts.”

Exterior view of the new Platform Changdong 61 arts complex in Dobong-gu. (Yonhap)

The Seoul Metropolitan Government established Platform Changdong 61 as a launch pad for its upcoming “Program of Creating a New Central Business District in Chang-dong and Sanggye” initiative to spark an economic boost in the northern districts, with the goal of creating roughly 80,000 new jobs.

Along with the Platform, Chang-dong will soon be the site of the future Seoul Arena, a 20,000-seat arena stadium, as well as home to a new industrial complex and a transfer center, which are all slated to be constructed in the 380,000-square-meter site of the Chang-dong Garage and the Dobong Driver’s License Test Center. When completed by 2020, Seoul Arena will be the city’s only full-scale area concert venue, according to Lee Yong-geon, operational director of the Four Northeastern Boroughs Plan, in a public statement.

Exterior view of the new Platform Changdong 61 arts complex in Dobong-gu. (Julie Jackson/The Korea Herald)

“As Korea’s only arena, the (future) Seoul Arena is also expected to accelerate hallyu by further spreading Korean pop culture. The facility will significantly help increase the number of tourists travelling to Seoul as well as contribute to regional development,” said Lee Yong-geon, operational director of the Four Northeastern Boroughs Plan, in a press release.

For more information on Platform Changdong 61 and its upcoming events, visit platform61.kr/.

By Julie Jackson (juliejackson@heraldcorp.com)