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Sindang Creative Arcade (신당창작아케이드)

Development Type: Adaptive Reuse Development

Type Of Developer: Public Sector

Start Year: 2008

Address: 87, Majang-ro, Jung-gu, Seoul, Republic of Korea (underground of Seoul Central Market), postcode 04571


Contributor: audex


Location Description
Seoul Central Market Underground Between Exit 1 and 2 of Sindang Station Take buses 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2022,263,421, and walk 30 meters toward the central market after getting off at Sindang Station, in front of the Central market.

Case Report


As it was once one of Seoul's top three markets, the Jungang Market, Seoul's representative traditional market, is actively transforming the traditional market into an "art market" with the participation of artists who move into the New Dang Creative Arcade. Facilities such as columns, stairs, walls, and air conditioning ducts in the ground market are decorated with art works symbolizing the market, and about 10 craft works, including hanji produced by tenant artists, were installed on the ceiling of the market to revive the market atmosphere. In addition, a program is underway to artistically decorate market stores as a model of exchange and coexistence between merchants and tenant artists, and it is expanding throughout the market to create a market space where practicality and aesthetics coexist.

Development Info.

Development Scale: Block

Total Development Cost: N/A, I think there's no detailed cost plan because it's not a new building but a remodeling of the underground space in the central market.

Total Land Area: 5057.6㎡

Total Development Area: 1389.47㎡

Area Type: Urban Area - Urban Retail Area

Start Date: 2008/12/03

Opening Date: 2009/10/16

Planning Approval: Seoul Foundation for Arts and Culture, Estimated 2008.08

Lead Developer: Sunhee Cho

Consultants: Not available


Economic Context

Sindang Creative Arcade attempts to connect with local industries such as commercialization of artworks by utilizing the characteristics of craft-specialized creative workshops. It supports the joint product development and designer incubating system through MOU signing with fashion association groups in Dongdaemun, Seoul's representative fashion center. It supports the development of commercializable life design and craft products such as clothes, ornaments, and accessories, and provides items for design development by participating in the new designer training program promoted by fashion organizations.

Social Context

It is not only a public art or event that improves the environment of the market, but also a creative incubating space where artists directly enter the market and communicate. The unique geographical location of Sindang Creative Arcade located in the market has the advantage of being able to get closer to the community and citizens, free from the burden of access to existing cultural facilities such as art museums and galleries. Reflecting these characteristics, Sindang Creative Arcade has a unique appearance where visitors can see actual creation taking place, not limited to the independent concept of producing creations. It provides satisfaction to both "artists who want to actively communicate with the public" and "citizens looking for accessible artworks" by maximizing the spatial characteristics of "open workshops."

Environmental Context

Not available

Historical Context

Hwanghak-dong market revived in the midst of the Korean War and served as a market in earnest. It was officially opened as Seoul Central Market in 1962 and had its best days in the 1970s and 1980s. An underground shopping mall was built in 1971. Sindang Underground Shopping Center, located in the basement of Hwanghak-dong Central Market, was once the center of the region, but it gradually declined after the financial crisis, leaving 52 of the 99 stores empty. The Seoul Metropolitan Government (Mayor Oh Se-hoon) remodeled the empty store to create 40 small studios, exhibition rooms, and joint workrooms centered on crafts, reviving old underground shopping facilities into a different space. Here, 40 artists who deal with various media such as textiles, paper, ceramics, metals, woodworking, engraving, book art, and photography will move in to produce creative cultural content.

The Plan

Pre-planning Efforts

Sindang Creative Arcade is intended to be used as a craft artist's work space and a regional hub cultural space. A total of 51 creative spaces will be used as creative workshops, photo studios, seminar rooms and joint workshops. The joint workshop is equipped with equipment such as electric kilns, spinning wheels, and compressors, allowing craft writers to use a joint workshop with equipment that is expensive for individuals to purchase. Sindang Creative Arcade will also be used as a cultural space through craft experience programs for the general public. Crafts will be displayed in the exhibition space "Shindang Show Window," which is set up with glass walls.

Vision Statement

The Seoul Government declared 2008 as the first year of a creative cultural city, announced plans to promote cultural and cultural cities, and Culturenomics is a combination of Culture and Economics, which means that it increases the added value of the economy through culture while achieving cultural economic value. The Seoul Metropolitan Government actively utilized idle spaces, created clusters according to regional characteristics and resource distribution, created cultural spaces to enhance citizens' accessibility, developed tourism courses linking nature, history and people, and created urban symbols that enhance the city's value and brand. [Reference] Seoul Institute, Seoul City's Creative Culture Urban Planning (

Goals and Objectives

Sindang Creative Arcade aims to promote creative cultural content by providing free workrooms and equipment to craftsmen, while contributing to revitalizing traditional markets, revitalizing local culture, and establishing itself as an open cultural space for citizens. [Reference] Korea Policy Briefing (

Issues and Problems

Limitations that are difficult for ordinary citizens to access because they are wholesale markets, methods of incorporating markets and art, conflicts with market merchants (market merchants think artists invaded their territory at the time).

Benchmark Projects

A similar example of saving the market with art: Gwangju Daein Market

Public Engagement Strategy

The Sindang Creative Arcade was created in 2008 with the aim of attracting creative workshops in idle facilities under the Creative Culture City Master Plan, a plan to establish the foundation for the creative arts of Seoul. This is significant in converting stores in underground shopping malls into non-commercial facilities on a large scale.

Financing Strategy

The maintenance fee is 5,500 won per pyeong (based on 3.3㎡), and the maintenance fee has changed so far. Still, it's important to be provided as a creative space at a low cost.

Existing Community and Residents

We operate programs to promote tenant artists and strengthen their self-sustaining power through active external activities such as capacity building programs for tenant artists, joint cooperation programs among artists, regional linkage programs, and planning exhibitions through domestic and foreign institutions. We are conducting programs to strengthen the capacity of craft artists and increase their self-sustaining power through practical creative support programs that can actually help produce works. In addition, it covers all genres of crafts such as ceramics, metal, design, textiles, furniture, glass and installation art through joint cooperation programs and regional programs. In the market, a total of 282 artists participated and donated 82 signboards to merchants. In addition, "Hwanghak-dong Byeolgok," which has become a representative festival in Jung-gu, including the central market, cannot be left out. Starting with the creation of 100 calligraphy by merchant children and artists resident, the festival also produced 400 aprons last year and displayed them on the ceiling of the central market.

Phasing Strategy

Not available

The Master Plan

It maintains the structure of the underground of the central market in the past. The workrooms are lined up on both sides along the main hallway in the middle. The size of the studio varies by space between 3.2 pyeong and 9.3 pyeong. The hallway is shaped like an L. Designed underground, it is directly below the Jungang Market and is connected to the Fisheries Market next to it.

Land Uses and Programs

Performances, art education workshops, business contests, exhibitions of works, space rental (resident artist)

Timeline or Milestones

08.2008 conception, 12.2008 building construction sheet creation, 16.10.2009 Opening and Every year since then, there has been a regular public contest for artist in residence.

Current Status

The lively and dynamic creative space of the market was a good opportunity for young artists. Along with the sense of belonging as a resident artist, the project provided by the new party, including a group exhibition and a planning exhibition, opened up the possibility for the artists to make various developments.

Lessons Learned

What is the most important take away from this case?

Realistic markets and underground environments played a negative role in the production of works. Problems such as humidity can only have a negative effect on writers who mainly deal with sensitive materials such as bioplastic and wood. There are also safety issues because the main entrance is an illegal parking section. Conflicts with market traders over entrances also keep writers on their toes.

Why is this case relevant today and for whom?

New writers and writers who are unable to engage in outside activities due to Corona are providing private workshops at a low cost. It is also helping local merchants in Seoul's central market, which has been struggling to revitalize the economy since the financial crisis.

Which strategy was proved to be successful?

Various artworks in the market provide people with attractions. Also, the atmosphere of the market, the food, and the activities of the writers revitalize the region and provide interest from people. Also, we can reduce distance from people by having various kinds of works in the market.

In your opinion, what could have improved this project?

There have been various exchanges with the market in the past. For example, since 2012, Sindang Creative Arcade has carried out a traditional market project with the goal of creating a "market where merchants are happy." The "Heart Tea" project, one of the traditional market projects, is a project in which craftsmen distribute tea to market merchants and exchange news with each other. Through this, craftsmen and market merchants have become close friends by interacting with each other. I think we can add exchanges between writers and the market and revitalize the area that was the fundamental purpose through various programs.

Any other comments?

Currently, many writers in Seoul are suffering from a lack of private workshops. The Sindang Creative Arcade gives many writers a lot of opportunities while also energizing the declining market. This boosts the market economy as well as the local economy. In addition, more than 40 teams of artists are provided with private workshops and exhibited every year, further enhancing the artistic value and possibility of people in Seoul.


OFFLINE Resources and References

Seoul Culturenomics vision&strategy, “창의의 힘” Seoul Culture Bureau, 2008.04 Architectural Specifications of Sindang Creative Arcade A Study on the Revitalization of Urban Underground Space through Regional Connection - Focusing on New Dang Creative Arcade, Seoul National University Graduate School of Architecture Sun ah Kim, 2019.02 Creative Culture City Planning in Seoul, Do sam Ra, a researcher at the Seoul Institute for Advanced Development.


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Contributor audex


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