Creating a cultural complex and a public park from a system of abandoned oil tanks.


Mapo Cultural Depot

location: Seoul (South Korea)
client: Seoul municipality
status: 2014, competition
with: Studiosilva, Muse, Gukjeon
collaborators: Francesco Gasperini, Andrea Simone, Rita Conti, Giulia Incerti
program: reconversion of oil tanks area into a park and cultural district with arena, theatre, congress centre, mediateque, library, permanent and temporary exhibition spaces


The Tanks represent the archaeological memory of a past close in time but ideally distant. Today Seoul embraces with determination the idea of sustainable development in which respect for nature, rehabilitation of heritage and the integration between nature and culture gain strength from each other, interacting actively and dynamically and creating innovative spaces intended for the general public. Slow City introduces a new vision of a city open to people, pedestrians, to slow mobility, to rediscover the places of the past and the natural spaces with a new vision linked to the present and to contemporaneity.

The new Cultural Depot Park on Maebong-San hill is the symbol of this new mentality, a park which gives strength and meaning to the history of the site, to the rehabilitation of the industrial heritage and to its conservation and transformation in an innovative and environmentally friendly way. We Imagine a large park for culture, entertainment, enjoyment of the landscape and nature in which memory, present and future together create a new concept of public space. 

The preservation of the Tanks both as memory and as architectural shape is the first fundamental choice of the project and it makes it possible to fully revive the history of the Maebong-San hill, discovering new uses and public facilities enhancing the exceptional interior space of the Tanks and their spectacular integration and fusion in the scenery.

We think about this new type of park as a system integrating cultural and entertainment aspects that blends the landscape with technology, which joins the new and memory, establishing a new way of living green spaces and which stands in the area of Seoul with the strongest public bent between the Stadium, the Maebong-San hill, the Digital Media Centre (DNC), Neoul, Haneul, Pyeonghwa parks and the natural area on the banks of the Hangang River.