There have been repeated trials and errors trying to transform Nodeul Island into a monumental cultural place. The plan to create a cultural complex in 2005 was canceled due to excessive design costs, and the project to create the Han River Art Island, which was re-promoted in 2008, was also put on hold in 2012 after continuing controversy over excessive project costs. Since then, the island has been temporarily used as a garden with long-term suspension of the project. On the other hand, it has been constantly suggested that this attractive place should be a public space for more people. In 2012, the Seoul Metropolitan Government resumed discussions on how to utilize the island, and in 2013, it investigated the opinions of experts and said, "Although we oppose the construction of an opera house, it is desirable to use it because the island itself has great potential value, and sufficient discussion process is needed." At the same time, the Seoul Metropolitan Government continued various discussions with citizens and experts, including civic debates and workshops, led by the "Nodle Island Forum" in 2013, and participated in photo contests, student design camps, online civic voting, expert idea sketches, and civic idea contests. Through this, the direction of the creation of the Nodeul Island could be converged into two main values: it should always be a place for all citizens to cultivate and enjoy together, and it should be completed step by step. Based on these various consensus and public opinion, the first to third contest was held on Nodeul Island.
Development Scale: Region
Total Development Cost: 490억
Total Land Area: 120,462m2
Total Development Area: 9,349m2 (2018)
Area Type: Urban Area - Urban Residential Area
Start Date: 2015/06/10
Opening Date: 2019/09/28
Planning Approval: 노들섬 문화명소 조성사업 (2015.03)
Lead Developer: Mayor of Seoul, Won-soon Park
Consultants: 새창구조기술사사무소, (주)공간이엔지, (주)디이테크설비컨설턴트, 디자인스튜디오 라인
Nodeulseom project has started in 2005. The government decided on a plan to create a cultural complex, benchmarking the Sidney Opera House and conducted two nomination design contests in 2006 and 2008. However, it has been overturned several times due to difficulties in securing finances and lack of social consensus due to huge construction costs (about 6000억). It has been temporarily used as a citizen garden since 2012.
After the suspension of the Han River Art Island project, criticism arose over the use of vegetable gardens, which had been neglected for a long time. To resolve the critical public opinion, Seoul Metropolitan Government opened an international competition to provide a space for citizens to participate in various programs and cultural activities on Nodeul Island.
Nodeul Island is located in the middle of the Han River, with less accessibility than other spaces in the central city. Therefore, programs should be able to lead people to come to the place - in this case, music-based programs have been applied.
Nodeul Island situated on Han River has been abandoned and forgotten for 40 years. In 1917, it was built on the Han river as a sandy hill to support the first pedestrian bridge on the river. It has been loved by citizens since 1950s, as a representative summer resort in Seoul. However, throughout the decades that followed, the sandy beach disappeared and became its current form with new project, called Han River Comprehensive Development Plan. Despite its close proximity to the central city, the remote character of the island made it a forgotten land by time.
- Yeouido Park Project (1999) - Seonyudo Park Project (2000) - Seoul Floating Island (2006)
Band of NODEUL - the land completed step by step according to the scenario (노들꿈섬 1,2차 작품집, https://urban-transformer.com/portfolio/노들섬/)
- create a place for public, Music-Based Culture Complex - connects the bridge and the riverside to experience nature and culture - reconnect the island to the city and its people - create a Nodeul Maeul where various programs, natural environments, and the scenery of Seoul blend (노들꿈섬 3차 작품집 15pg + http://mmkplus.com/nodeul)
- finance issues - traffic problems - accessibility issues
Sidney Opera House (until 2012)
- ‘Nodeul Island Forum’ operation, involving citizens and experts in 2013 - Noddle Island holds a public debate (2013.12) - Photo competition - four times in one year (2014.01) - Online Citizen Poll (2014.07.17-08.31) - Student Design Camp (2014.07.25-08.01) - Nodeul Island Citizens Idea Contest (2014.09.14-10.17) - Citizens' Grand Debate (2014.12)
Endangered species, narrow-mouthed toad, on the island moved to a newly established habitat, the eastern side of the Nodeulseom.
Nodeul Dream Island Competition conduct 3 times. The goal of the contest is to select an operational strategy that flexibly changes with containing vestiges of era and layers of time and then to create spaces and facilities that enable to contain them. 1st Competition on Operation Initiative 2nd Competition on Operation plan and facility planning 3rd Competition on Space and facilities Design
NODEUL MAEUL, RECONFIGURED GROUND: connected and opened Maeul connects the Han River Bridge and the riverside naturally and combines various programs, natural environment, and scenery. Modular structure system: it is an expandable structural system that allows participatory design strategy, defined as a response to the citizens’ needs. Landscape Concept: New landscape creates two distinctive island features. First is to restore the wild nature, the habitat of narrow-mouthed toad and Second is to create a cultural venue with reprogramming its natural features. Planting Strategy: It is composed of four phases to enhance the ecological system in the Island with mixing the old and new. Phases are divided into preservation and removal of decaying plants, providing new plant-life, adding programmatic planting, and curating planting. Looping Circulation: Nodeulseom has Upper and Lower circulation loops to gradually harmonize the nature and cultural complex.
Nodeul Square, Nodeul Madang, Nodeul Live house (Concert Hall), Rehearsal Studio, Music Loung RYU, Nodeul Office, Nodeul Bookstore, Plant Atelier, Space 445 (Exhibition), Stores, Forest Multi Hall, Nodeul Yard, Market Garden, Book Garden, Seminar rooms, Nodeul Forest, Restaurants, Café, Convenience store
2005: 01 - Deciding on the Planning of Nodeul Island Cultural Complex (Opera theaters, symphony halls, youth outdoor music halls, etc) 06 - Nodeul Island Purchase Completed 11 - Announcement of the Ordinance on the Establishment and Operation of the Noddle Island Art Center 2006.01 - 1st Nomination Design Competition Contest at Nodeul Island Arts Center; Jean-Nouvell Contract Abrogation (2008.5) 2007.03 - A Public Opinion Collection Plan for the Establishment of the Nodeul Island Culture and Performing Arts Center 2008.03 - 2nd Nomination Design Competition Contest at Nodeul Island Performing Arts Center 2009.03 - Creating 'Han River Art Island' Project by Se-hoon Oh, Mayor of Seoul 2010: 03 - Decision to change urban management plan (cultural facilities) 07 - Enactment of the Ordinance on the Establishment and Operation of the Han River Art Island 09 - Abolish the Ordinance on the Establishment and Operation of the Han River Art Island 2012.05 - Suspension of the Han River Art Island Project 2013: 06 - Composition and operation of the Nodeul Island Forum (six forums, five steering committees, subcommittees by sector) 12 - Noddle Island holds a public debate 2014: 01 - Photo competition - four times in one year 07 - Online Citizen Poll, Student Design Camp 09 - Nodeul Island Citizens Idea Contest 12 - Citizens' Grand Debate 2015.03 - Implementation Contest of Nodeul Dream Island (First on June, Second on September) 2016.06 - Third Contest on Space and facilities Design 2017 - Narrow-mouthed Toad migration to new habitat 2018 - Implementation and Selection of Operators for the Specialized Space of Nodeul Island 2019.09.28 - Nodeul Island Opening Festival
Current condition of operation because of the Covid-19, usage of the cultural center is significantly low.
For any future project that aims to create a public space in a low accessible area, this project let them remind the importance of programming to attract people.
Creation of a Nodeul Maeul where various programs, natural environments, and the scenery of Seoul blend.
I personally think that this project would be better off itself, if the Covid-19 status get improved. However, in current condition, if the programs are more diverse, people might still come to the island more often.
It is worth to invest for making a public space on an abandoned island.