Gwangju gets a new Asian culture complex fro, Kyu Sung Woo Architects, acting to promote citizens' cultural and recreational activities
'Forest of Light'; the Asian Culture Complex (ACC), is located in Gwangju's old downtown at the site of the historic May 18 uprisings that led to Korean Democracy. Currently, Gwangju reflects the rapid urbanization characteristic of modern Korean development, and suffers from a lack of public open space for gathering and recreation, green space for an urban ecology, and sound industries for economic sustainability. The ACC will be a catalyst in the regeneration of the city centre.
In 2002 the Korean government developed a national economic plan, 'Culture Hub City of Asia- Gwangju' sponsored by the Korean Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism. The plan will develop seven cultural districts that will transform Gwangju into a new Asian regional identity, a city of cultural production. The central project of this master plan is the ACC, the winning scheme of a UIA-approved international competition. Conceived as both a Memorial and a Citizen's Park, the ACC is an uninterrupted extension of the city fabric encompassing a 10 hectare public open space over 140,000sm of below-grade cultural facilities.
The roof-top park at city level is open to all, and will promote the citizens' recreational and cultural activities, as well as connect regionally to the natural green spaces around the city. The project's cultural institutions below are designed as economic engines and experimental programs that invite public participation. Numerous skylights and openings introduce natural light into the underground facilities and glow like illuminated rocks in the park at night.
Collectively the ACC will be a spectacular, major civic space in the historic heart of Gwangju, which celebrates the distinct history of democracy and supports new cultural programs to enhance the spatial, economic, and spiritual identity of the city. The project is currently under construction and will be completed in 2014.