Zaha Hadid's Dongdaemun Design Plaza
captured in new photographs


These new images by architecture photographer Edmon Leong show the undulating contours and glittering surfaces of Zaha Hadid's Dongdaemun Design Plaza complex in Seoul, South Korea (+ slideshow).

Zaha Hadid Seoul Design Center DDP

Completed in the spring, the 38,000-square-metre cultural complex is located at the heart of Seoul's 24-hour shopping district. It encompasses an art, design and technology hub, an adjoining public plaza and a landscaped park.

Zaha Hadid Seoul Design Center DDP

Zaha Hadid Architects designed a curvaceous aluminium facade that is speckled with minute holes and backlit by night, creating a twinkling effect described by the design team as a "a field of pixilation and perforation patterns".

Edmon Leong, who regularly photographs Hadid's projects, says the building is one of the largest he's seen by the London-based architect.

Zaha Hadid Seoul Design Center DDP

"It looks like the Starship Enterprise just landed in Seoul," he told Dezeen. "It really stands out against the surrounding buildings, which are extremely old and weathered. No other modern structure can been seen in the area."

Zaha Hadid Seoul Design Center DDP

The photographer said the project attracts a mixed response from locals and tourists, with some taking selfies in front of the building.

Zaha Hadid Seoul Design Center DDP

"I overheard comments like 'this is amazing' and 'it looks like something from outer space'. The words 'ugly' and 'out of context' were also expressed, and at times I felt like I needed to defend the work," he said.

Zaha Hadid Seoul Design Center DDP

The eight-storey complex hides half of its volume below ground level. The interior, which Leong describes as "signature Zaha Hadid, with layers of white curves", accommodates exhibition galleries, a design museum, and a library and education centre.

  • mitate

    Poor old Zaha. Hardly hear a word about her these days.

  • Ordinata

    It’s like the Rhino Model was 3D printed! :o)

  • Floong

    I was here an hour ago. Completely knocked my socks off. Simply extraordinary.

  • Abel Daniel Kim

    The interior is not as bright as the pictures suggest. It’s quite dark and gloomy once you are in there. Can’t wait for Chipperfield’s building for the Amore Pacific HQ in Yongsan. Three more years to go!