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Zero Gravity Center Dobong(무중력지대 도봉)

Development Type: Open Space Development

Type Of Developer: Public Sector

Start Year: 2016

Address: Madeul-Ro 11-Gil 75, Dobong-Gu, Seoul, South Korea(01414) (서울특별시 도봉구 마들로11길 75 우편번호 01414)


Contributor: audex


Location Description
Zero Gravity Center Dobong is located right next to Changdong Station, Lines 1 and 4. The area functions as a center of meeting as the Zero Gravity Center is located right next to Changdong Station exit no. 1, only one of two station exits. It is also neighbored by a block of retail area, train tracks, and Platform Changdong 61, a building for performance arts. The urban area is mainly occupied by residential areas consisting of various apartment complexes, which include the Donga, Changdong Samsung Raemian, Changdong Jugong 19, Changdong Daerim apartments and others. Due to the dense population of the area, there are many schools in the area, totaling 8 elementary schools, 4 middle schools, and 4 high schools. Local natural landmarks include Choansan Mountain(초안산) and Jungnangcheon(중랑천).

Case Report


⌜Zero Gravity Center Dobong⌟ is an area whose purpose is to support young adult activities and ensure the voluntary actions of young adults. Based on the ⌜Seoul City Young Adult Basic Rights Policy⌟, the space is designed to help youth adults achieve the purpose of the policy. It is named ‘Zero Gravity’ so that youth adults can break free from the heavy gravity of the restraints of society and do less constrained activities. The building is two stories tall, the mass having been formed by the connection of 12 orange shipping containers. Internal facilities include lounges, shared kitchen, seminar rooms, meeting rooms, room of spirit and time, youth adult station, rest area, and others.

Development Info.

Development Scale: Building

Total Development Cost: 468,000,000KRW(Installation) + 20,000,000KRW(Supervision

Total Land Area: 1,467m2

Total Development Area: 311.07m2

Area Type: Urban Area - Urban Retail Area

Start Date: 2016/10/01

Opening Date: 2018/06/22

Planning Approval: Zero Gravity Center Dobong(무중력지대 도봉)
, 16. 10. relocation request/approval of Zero Gravity Center to Dobong

Lead Developer: Office of Young Adult Policy, Seoul Innovation Department, Seoul Cit

Consultants: Saenggaknamupartners Architecture Firm(생각나무파트너스건축사무소), SH Corporation(에스에이치공사)


Economic Context

Employment difficulty is a major issue for young adults in South Korea. As this trend is intensifying as time passes, so are major issues in human relations. Because of the lack of communication within the youth adult age group, the sense of individualism has grown bigger than before. In addition to employment, other difficulties such as marriage, children plans and housing issues have made young adults give up on their lifetime dreams and seek more practical jobs that can help their short-term status. Zero Gravity Centers can be a small solution to these problems, where young adults can be relieved from the problems of society and be temporarily ‘gravity free’.

Social Context

Due to the pressure of modern society, young adults are having less and less opportunities to organize and participate in voluntary activities, having to participate in other more short-term goals that relate directly to the living of oneself. Therefore, the Zero Gravity Center Dobong can relieve the ‘gravity’ of the pressure of society and encourage more self-reliant and voluntary activities, which can help young adults create a base for independent activities and establish connections within the young adult community.

Environmental Context

In addition to one’s personal achievements, Zero Gravity Center Dobong can function as a productive and creative center for young adults in the urban area. The building can give a fresh stimulus to the local community and form a local network where the users can communicate, which can result in various opportunities and founding of fresh business models. It will result in the building becoming a local hub for innovation, talent and increase a sense of belonging in the community.

Historical Context

Based on the enactment of the ⌜Seoul City Young Adult Basic Rights Policy⌟ in 2015, the mayor of Seoul can install institutions that support young adults. The enactment of the policy has resulted in installation of 7 Zero Gravity Centers, with the Dobong center being the fourth to open.

The Plan

Pre-planning Efforts

precedent projects: Zero Gravity Center Daebang, Zero Gravity Center G-Valley, Zero Gravity Center Yangcheon

Vision Statement

“Dobong Young Adults Activity Hub” - Infrastructure for communication and activity for young adults source:공약35.pdf

Goals and Objectives

1. creating an activity-supportive environment for local youth adults 2. lectures and educational programs for youth adult activities 3. support for youth adult groups and networks 4. installation and management of municipal equipment for ⌜Zero Gravity Center Dobong⌟ 5. solution to various youth adult problems and other related work Source: 2018년 무중력지대 도봉 사업 및 예산 계획서

Issues and Problems

Issues: problems that young adult Koreans face in society
Employment, human relations, offspring plans, housing issues, etc.

Benchmark Projects

Zero Gravity Center Daebang: Previous cases show successful operation of zero gravity centers.

Public Engagement Strategy

Openness: a communication space open to and shared by the public
Innovation: a space for creative activity
Connectivity: development of relation between the user group and the management group
Cooperative Governance 1. Establishment of Management · cooperation system in the urban area 2. Cooperative System with Dobong-Gu: conduction of business in relation to the policies and business of the district 3. Cooperation With Various Youth Adult Groups: maximize the positive attributes of each group to establish a better connection and cooperative system and offer a space for experiment for youth adults 4. Space For Projects With Various Groups(teenagers, elders, etc.) Source: 2018년 무중력지대 도봉 사업 및 예산 계획서

Financing Strategy


Existing Community and Residents

⌜Zero Gravity Center Dobong⌟ is located in the boundary of Dobong-Gu and Nowon-Gu. These two districts have a total population of 853,649 as of December 2020. Out of the total population, the population of young adults (the age group defined as people whose ages are 19 to 39) is 228,905, which accounts for more than a fourth of the total population. When you narrow down the area to around the center, there is a dense residential area, accompanied by many educational and retail facilities. Also, Platform Changdong 61, a performing facility, is located right next to the Zero Gravity Center.

Phasing Strategy

Urban Phase: The young adult group defined as the group ages 19 to 39 consists 26.8% of Dobong and Nowon’s total population. Therefore, over a fourth of the total population of the urban area can be supported by facilities that encourage communication and independent activities. Design Phase: The design concept is taking 12 shipping container modules of the same form and surrounding the center of the building, which provides a large open space that is used as a lounge. After the creation of the open space, programs such as seminar rooms, shared kitchen, offices and vertical cores are placed in the containers. This placement of the containers acts as a key to the connection between the outside and inside of the building, and the combination and opening of the separate containers give more variety and efficiency to the whole program flow.

The Master Plan

⌜Zero Gravity Center Dobong⌟ is a space for young adults, designed to solve their problems and help them engage in various activities and communication. The mass created by joining of 12 shipping containers, the center has various functions which includes education, communication, project support, rest, and its bigger function being the relief of the gravity of social · cultural · economical restraints. The uniformity of the containers and structural stability enables flexibility of the indoor area form, and the wave-like texture of the containers give an industrial, modern feel to the building. In conclusion, container modules, scarcely used in an urban context, gives a fresh, futuristic feel to the Zero Gravity Center, expressing the young identity of the building.

Land Uses and Programs

Land Use: Building, Outdoor Performing Area, Rest Area, Parking Lot Indoor Programs: Lounge, Seminar Room, Conference Room, Shared Kitchen, Rest Area, Co-Working Space, Room of Spirit and Time, Youth Adult Station, Management, Tenant Group Room, Storage, Terrace, Locker Room, Toilet

Timeline or Milestones

2016.10. Relocation Request of Zero Gravity Center 2018. 05. 21. Completion of Relocation and Temporary Opening of ⌜Zero Gravity Center Dobong⌟ 2018. 06. 22. Official Opening of ⌜Zero Gravity Center Dobong⌟ 2022. Withdrawal and Relocation of Zero Gravity Center(on plan)

Current Status


Lessons Learned

What is the most important take away from this case?

Design wise, the case was interesting in that it took a seemingly ordinary shipping container and placed several of it to create a stand-out, intriguing stucture. The mass and program location are perfectly seamed together, creating an ideal communications hub. Another important part of the project is that it analyzed a widespread social issue and addressed it with architectural language, compared to other cases where only local urban issues are covered.

Why is this case relevant today and for whom?

The ⌜Zero Gravity Center Dobong⌟ is important in that in comparison to other cases where its aim is to solve local issues, it discusses a social phenomenon and aims to at least partially solve its problems. The center is particularly relevant to the age group of young adults, since they are the ones that are particularly the most heavily affected by these problems.

Which strategy was proved to be successful?

The masterplan strategy was the most successful compared with others. The form and programs are integrated into one, creating a complete project.

In your opinion, what could have improved this project?

Although the project showed a smooth implementation of the social strategy, the urban strategy seems to have its deficiencies. Each Zero Gravity Center isn’t tailored to its individual area, which can result in minor to major problems in the process of operating the programs.

Any other comments?

Considering the population of Dobong-Gu and Nowon-Gu, the two main districts of northern Seoul, installing a communication and activity hub in an area where a hub didn’t exist is a logical desicion. However, considering where the local points of interests(POI) are, extra research on the area might have been necessary. Compared to Changdong Station, the Nowon Station area has a wider variety of public transportation options and more accesibility to commercial and public facilities. Therefore, although the investment was a good decision, there might have been better options to choose from.



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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.