This Sunday I stopped by the Dosi sanghwe marketplace held at the Sewoon Sanga Electronics Plaza. I think this article describes it best as a “megastructure.” It’s located right next to what I call the “lighting district” (because there’s a bunch of lighting and lamp stores down the street) and surrounded by hole-in-the-wall industrial shops selling pipes, rubber tires, you name it. From the article:
Sewoon Sangga was designed by the architect Kim Swoo-Geun during the long era of developmentalist dictatorship in South Korea, when planning and building an industrial economy, fast, took precedence over everything else. The first part of the name means “attracts all the energy of the world”, while the second means “shopping mall”.
Accordingly, the building is dramatic. It consists of four interlinked sections (one since demolished) that are together the size of a small town, cutting a rectangular path through the alleys and winding streets of the historic city and a post-Korean War refugee settlement.Owen Hatherley, Dezeen.com
Hip coffee shops and eateries have moved into some of the vacant retail spaces, and on the weekends it often hosts flea and handicraft markets. The Dosi Sanghwe market, a “future-oriented market brand which aims to reanalyze accepted norms and values by working with various urban creators” was held twice this fall here. It’s hosted by Urban Play (kor) whose mission is to “realize a sustainable city through building neighborhood lifestyle services centered on local content.” Basically the market promotes local creators in a space that’s synonymous with urban renewal.
I filmed a little of my tour around the market and mini haul, which you can see here:
As much as I love hipster coffee shops and handicrafts sellers, what really impressed me when I first visited was the view from the roof. You can take the elevator (located at the end of the plaza near the view of Jongymyo shrine) to the ninth floor to the rooftop.
First time I came up here I was really struck by the coexistence of urban old and new. Not traditional and modern, but the remnants of the city as it rapidly industrialized, seen in the almost shantytown-like buildings, contrasted with the modern skyscrapers in the background.
Sewoon Sanga also cuts through the Chunggyecheon river, one of my favorite places in Seoul. It’s a short walk from Euljirosamga (Line 3) Exit 5. Google Map here.