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Seoul Modu School (모두의 학교)

Development Type: Adaptive Reuse Development

Type Of Developer: Public Private Partnership

Start Year: 2013

Address: 08548, 42, Nambusunhwan-ro 128-gil, Geumcheon-gu, Seoul, Republic of Korea


Contributor: audex


Location Description
At Guro Digital Complex Station near to Dorimcheon, come down to the boulevard and turn right at the intersection. It is located between Guryong Park and Sillimprugio Apartment.

Case Report


Modu School is a facility operated as part of the "Seoul is a School" campaign, which says, "The whole city becomes a place for learning, a city where all citizens learn together, and there is no boundary between life and learning." All of these schools are citizen-centered lifelong learning laboratories, new concept lifelong learning centers. All schools were created by remodeling buildings that had been used as middle schools for 45 years. In the aftermath of low birthrates, the population of elementary schools has gradually begun to decline, and new directions for civic education are being proposed against this social background. It is a lifelong education learning center for citizens, citizens, and citizens. It can be said that it is a space for learning and culture for all generations. From the remodeling promotion plan to the design process and subsequent operation, it is operated by citizens. It has the characteristics of the park with facilities such as Citizen Communication Square, Group Study Room, Floor Class, and Library.

Development Info.

Development Scale: Building

Total Development Cost: 5,548,640,000 won

Total Land Area: 5,616 m2

Total Development Area: 554.4 m2

Area Type: Urban Area - Urban Residential Area

Start Date: 2013/08/01

Opening Date: 2017/10/28

Planning Approval: A Master Plan for the Creation of Modu School, 2015.08

Lead Developer: N/A

Consultants: Kim Kyung-wan, Research Director of Sungkyunkyun Architecture and Construction Facilities Institute, Management associations involving citizens and professionals


Economic Context

Significant economic factors are hard to find because Modu Schools is located in residential areas rather than commercial districts. Also it's a facility for citizens rather than for attracting visitors. Small shops around the area have not changed much from old stores, so the economic impact does not seem to be significant.

Social Context

● Hanul Middle School, originally located here, was integrated into Siheung-dong as elementary schools decreased due to the social background of low birthrates. ● After considering how to use the remaining space after the relocation, the Seoul Metropolitan Government decides to present an innovative lifelong learning model. ● The decrease in schools is expected throughout Seoul, so schools should no longer be facilities with isolated boundaries as in the past, but spaces open to residents and responsible for local networks. Education should not only be conducted through schools and teachers, but also in various forms within various communities of people of all ages. ● Establishment of the "Basic Plan for Education City Seoul" aimed at happy growth and fostering creative talent is the context for ensuring high educational experience throughout the entire life.

Environmental Context

●This site is a residential area with many homes and apartments ●There is a green area called 'Doksan Natural Park' nearby, but there is a lack of environment to take a walk or interact ●So it's not just a place for education, it also serves as a park

Historical Context

●The building, which was a middle school for 45 years, became a space for 'exchange and education necessary for this city' after its use as a middle school.

The Plan

Pre-planning Efforts

● 'Basic Plan for Education City Seoul' aimed at happy growth and fostering creative talent (2014) ● Promotion of fact-finding surveys, analysis, and planning services (by Sungkyunkwan University) (2015) ● Formulation of a master plan for the creation of Modu School (2015) ● Implementing building remodeling design services (2016) ● Organization and operation of the 'Operation Advisory Group' for the Creation of Modu  School (2016) ● Holding a community participation workshop for space design (2 preparatory meetings, 6 workshops, and 1 briefing session) (2016) ● Conducting a meeting to find ways to operate (3 times) ● Promotion of residents' participation interior design (2017)

Vision Statement

● New Learning × Learn Each other = Modu School (

Goals and Objectives

● Implementing a citizen-led lifelong learning innovation platform ● Transform the process of implementing the essence of lifelong learning. ● It's a school for citizens, by citizens, for citizens (

Issues and Problems

● Is it possible for experts and citizens to think about and complete the space for citizens? ● If it is a space where citizens become owners, of course, citizens' opinions should be centered, but is it possible to organize the opinions of various citizens into one?

Benchmark Projects

School of Everything' in England

Public Engagement Strategy

● At first, experts and public officials seemed to be at the center as the Seoul Metropolitan Government's project to create public facilities, but Modu School created a model in which citizens participated from the process of remodeling. ● Citizens' opinions were also actively reflected in the remodeling design process, such as workshops involving residents for space design. ● The opening ceremony, where the remodeling work was completed and the space was opened, was also promoted as an event where citizens became the main characters and invited various citizens. ● Interior was joined by local students. ● Since its opening, public engagement has played an important role, with all programs collecting opinions from citizens and citizens planning and operating programs.

Financing Strategy

● Various programs are financially supported by the Seoul Metropolitan Institute for Lifelong Education, but as Modu school is a center where citizens take the initiative in planning and operation to learn from each other, 249 civic resource activists voluntarily participate in the operation.

Existing Community and Residents

● Existing occupants and communities were all able to participate in both Modu school's promotion and remodeling process, and also the program was mainly attended by citizens. ● Therefore, a new community seems to have naturally been formed within the existing community within people who want to be educated or interact regardless of age or gender.

Phasing Strategy


The Master Plan

● It forms an urban landscape axis that extends from the main gate of the complex to everyone's school, and symbolically reveals communication and exchange with the local community through the axis. The "specialized library" protruding from the front of everyone's school has emerged as a symbolic icon of the school, making it a step toward preparing for a new leap forward. ● It will be connected to the axis of communication from the main gate of the complex to everyone's school through the extension site, and open the first and second floors of the existing building to form an open civic platform. We want to create a new open ground where publicness and openness breathe. ● The level of the land and the citizen platform on the open deck form the same level, naturally attracting both the citizen's yard and everyone's garden into the school. It adjusts the level of contact with the fence behind everyone's school to create an open cafe at the same level as the surrounding road, and provides a space for resting under the tree at the pocket shelter using the land's topographical difference. ● The location of citizen platforms and gardens of all within the site exists in the future in the relationship between the extension buildings, vocational training schools, and the main gate and further in the community. The civic platform forms a community core with everyone's garden and becomes the center of a network that forms organic links within the site.

Land Uses and Programs

1F- Citizen Communication Square, Citizen Flat Home, Multipurpose Steel 2F- Library and Rest Area 3F - Artist's Dream Class, Floor Class 4F - Room, Group Study Room, Lab Around the building - trails and parks.

Timeline or Milestones

April 2014: Establishment of a master plan for Seoul, an educational city August 2015: Formulation of a master plan for the creation of schools for all; November 2015: Establishment of all schools and establishment of a master plan; March to November 2016: Building remodeling design service implementation August 2016: Designation of the Seoul Metropolitan Government Lifelong Education Promotion Agency, an affiliated organization of the Seoul Metropolitan Government, as an operating exclusive agency; August-September 2016: 9 workshops for residents' participation in space design December 2016 to October 2017: Building remodeling work October 28, 2017: Opening ceremony held

Current Status

Currently, Modu School is a leading learning center for local residents under the support of the Seoul Metropolitan Government Lifelong Education Promotion Agency, and also serves as a park open to many residents, including those who raise pets around them, seniors and children. It was observed that both gardens and green areas in front of the school were actively used and were used as a space for exchanges between residents.

Lessons Learned

What is the most important take away from this case?

Currently, there is a large playground with nothing in the yard, and it would have been better used if this part had been designed more actively.

Why is this case relevant today and for whom?

All citizens in need of lifelong education based on "soft skills" that are needed as citizens on a life cycle instead of "hard skills" that prioritize practicality.

Which strategy was proved to be successful?

The strategy of encouraging citizens to actively participate in the remodeling process seems to be successful. This is because it naturally creates a new community among citizens who need education within the existing community, and as a result, spaces that are actually needed were created. For example, it has been confirmed that the outside gardens are still actively used to reflect the needs of citizens and designed to fully connect them to internal programs.

In your opinion, what could have improved this project?

Currently, in front of the building, an outdoor space divided into two categories: empty yard and a large garden. Observations showed that the frequency of use of this place was very high, and there were cases where new experiences were introduced into the building through this yard, and active exchanges between residents were also taking place in the park. Therefore, I thought that if the space was developed more actively or turned into a green area, it would better reflect the needs of the surrounding area and more people would use the school.

Any other comments?

In fact, it was very difficult to find architectural materials in this case, and it was difficult to research because the case itself focused more on social and urban needs and the meaning of new education methods than on architectural meanings. However, I could be sure that this need was necessary, as I went and observed it and saw it being actively used by citizens. It seems to suggest a new direction in terms of reuse or educational direction in Korea and or urban infrastructure, so I think it is worth investing in.


OFFLINE Resources and References

서울특별시평생교육진흥원, Seoul Modu School Master Process, 2019, 서울특별시 도시기반시설본부, 모두의학교 리모델링공사 설계용역 (실시설계보고서), 2019.11


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Contributor audex


AUDEX is an acknowledgement that we need to start building on our own knowledge and experiences that applies to Asian cities and, perhaps, we can steer the global urbanization in the right direction. We believe in a collective intelligence. Powered by the internet and the network of professionals and experts in Asia, we propose to start by making sharing your experience and knowledge easier.