July 4, 2011
Seoul’s new architectural marvel has proved to be a success in its first week as a tourist attraction.
Seoul’s Han River will be home to three man-made islands by the end of the year, but Viva – the first island, opened to the public just last week.
At 3,271 square metres it will be the second largest of the three islands, but for now it is home to an impressive 3-storey structure. The building houses a 700-seat convention hall as well as other attractions, including restaurants and video games.
There are also parks, outdoor terraces and various view-points to really take in the sights of the city. The exterior of the building turns into a light show at night with brightly-coloured illuminations.
The next islands are due to open in September and the entire trio of islands will amount to 20,400 square metres of man-made land.
With Viva’s 3-storey business centre, each island will has its own theme. The second island will be a centre for arts and cultural events, while the 3rd island will focus on aquatic activities – with special emphasis on yachting as well as other water sports.
The islands can each accommodate around 6,200 people and are guaranteed to generate even more attention from tourists to build on the 59 million people that visited last year.
This isn’t the first time an island has been artificially constructed, with the Palm Islands in Dubai being a notable example, but Seoul’s islands seem to be different from the rest.
While Dubai’s islands were formed by pouring sand onto the seabed to create artificial land, Seoul’s islands were built in 3 parts and are held together by 28 mooring chains that are secured to an enormous buoy. This design ensures that the islands can withstand changing river levels as well as severe weather conditions.
Viva has also been built to be eco-friendly, with 54 square metres of solar panels to generate electrical power for the island. The panels reportedly have the ability to produce 6 kilowatts per house on a daily basis.