A Journey of Culture and Arts to the Old Station

After the recent success of 2015 ASYAAF, CULTURE STATION SEOUL 284 was emptied for a while to prepare for a special exhibition for the 70th Anniversary of the Liberation of Korea. It looked a little lonely because there was no program going on, but it offered a great chance to capture the first impression and the original form of the space itself. Stepping into CULTURE STATION SEOUL 284, the massive stone column in the open central hall, the Korean-style stained glass and ceilings, and the big clock on the wall with an arch structure clearly showed that it was Seoul Station, where in the past, many trains arrived and departed according to schedule. The space that used to be the major stage of the modern history of Korea and a gateway to transportation and interaction has become a hub of culture and the arts, which greets people by connecting the past and the present with the future. CULTURE STATION SEOUL 284 was created when the old Seoul Station lost its function as a train station with the opening of KTX Express Rail in 2004. Its restoration was based on the time of its completion back in 1925, and its contents tried to capture about 80 years of lives and memories in Seoul Station.

The renovation of the old Seoul Station was completed in two years, in August 2011, and marked its new start as a dynamic and open cultural complex where various cultures and arts are created and exchanged, considering the historical and cultural characteristics of the building. The official name of the building, ‘CULTURE STATION SEOUL 284,’ was born by changing ‘Culture Station 284,’ the winner in the name contest held, into Korean and adding the symbol of Seoul and the number of the old Seoul Station as a historic relic (284). CULTURE STATION SEOUL 284 has three floors, including a basement.Its structure as a train station has been maintained, with a complex layout of many partitioned spaces where various programs, such as exhibitions, performances, conferences, and researches, can be held at the same time. The first floor houses the central hall, the ticket booth, the platform, the VIP lounge, and the administrator’s office. The central hall consists of 12 stone columns and domes, and is the main entrance to CULTURE STATION SEOUL 284 at the center. The third class platform and the first and second platforms for the passengers are currently used for exhibitions and performances. The second floor has the main exhibition hall, the Grill, a seminar room, and a conference room. The restored exhibition hall was used as a barber shop in the past and is the first restored exhibition of Korea. Here, you can visit the materials and historical resources found while restoring the old Seoul Station. CULTURE STATION SEOUL 284 wholly preserves the architectural value of the building along with its historical value, and shares such values with people through culture and the arts. It is firmly laying its roots as a space that exhibits various aspects of Seoul in the past, present, and future.