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A Fantasyland of Flowers at Dongdaemun Design Plaza

As if Seoul’s Dongdaemun Design Plaza (DDP) wasn’t eye-catching enough already, someone decided to “plant” 21,000 LED lit roses onto its rooftop park.

Seoul's UFO in the middle of the city

Seoul’s UFO in the middle of the city

By day, it’s an exquisite rose garden of human creativity, steady hands and careful diligence. By night, it’s a dazzling nebula of luminous fairy lights set against the neofuturistic lines of designer Zaha Hadid’s urban landmark.

Our stroll through the “rose garden,” at dusk was beyond awe-inspiring. It’s mind-boggling to think of how much effort it took to actually construct, wire and install all of those blooms.

If you want to see the flowers yourself, before they succumb to winter, you’ll have to be quick! They’ll only be planted there until November 30th. I’d recommend visiting during a weekday night, rather than the weekend to avoid the crowds.

Visiting the Dongdaemun Design Plaza
Officially inaugurated on March 21, 2014, the DDP aims to be ground zero for fashion and design in Seoul. Featuring walkable rooftop parks, innovative stores and exhibition spaces, as well as restored parts of Seoul Fortress, while there, it can feel like the future is now.

Access to the DDP is from Dongdaemun History and Culture Park Station, which intersects on subway lines 2, 4 and 5.

*Special thanks to fellow Worldwide Korea blogger, Alfonso L. Delgado, who assisted me with some photos for this post. Please check out his blog, A Pinoy in Korea, HERE.

Have you seen any fantastic gardens or futuristic architecture on your travels? Tell us all about them in the comments below.

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28 Comments Post a comment
  1. It’s certainly beautiful! But with things like this, I always wonder — what happens to the flowers after the installation is over?? It’s like the poppies at London Tower…

    November 26, 2014
    • Hmm that’s a good question. My guess is that they’ll recycle as much of it as possible. Korea is big on recycling and almost everything in our house gets divided into different bins for reuse. We barely create 1 bag of real garbage per month. In my aunt’s complex, they even have a machine on site that takes their food waste and converts it into energy to heat the apartments!! 😀

      November 27, 2014
      • Whoa that’s so cool! Wish they did that in New Zealand – there is always a ton of food waste and the houses are very poorly insulated, therefore always chilly at night, even in the summer.

        November 27, 2014
  2. Amazing. And I’ll be happy to make use of some of the flowers when the installation is over. This post brings back memories of taking my son to DDP. aged 2, to scooter around the empty pavements on a weekday morning.

    November 26, 2014
    • Haha, you’d certainly be able to create something amazing with so many flowers! 🙂 I was a bit iffy about DDP when it first opened, seemed like just a big, weird looking UFO, but now that they’ve brought life into it, it’s really turning into a great place… especially at night, when everything is lit up. PS: Have you gone on your trip to Peru yet?

      November 27, 2014
      • Counting down the days…10.

        November 27, 2014
  3. Thanks for posting about this! I live in Seoul and am not working this week so was hoping to find some cool things to check out before I return home next month. I will definitely be making a trip to Dongdaemun in the next few days! 🙂

    November 26, 2014
    • Great! DDP is well worth a visit and the flowers make it even more worthwhile. Try to make it on a weeknight if you can to make sure the lights are on. We went on a Saturday and it was so mobbed with people, they didn’t turn on the lights because they were worried it would be a safety hazard. 🙁 Oh, and btw if you like Indian food, we always head to Everest when we’re in Dongdaemun area. It’s excellent. 🙂

      November 27, 2014
  4. Thanks for sharing! Can you still view the lit roses after the DDP is closed for the day? I will be in Seoul on the last day it is showing, Nov 30 🙂

    November 26, 2014
    • Hmm, well I think DDP stays open pretty late – maybe 9 or 10PM? But anyways the flowers are outside on the rooftop, so if they’re still there, you’ll be able to see them. No the issue is that Koreans do seem to have a habit of taking down installations BEFORE the end of the day. My guess is it might be in the process of take-down on the 30th. You never know though, and honestly DDP is worth a visit whether the flowers are there or not. 🙂

      November 27, 2014
  5. This looks like it would be amazing to see. My kids would love it.

    November 26, 2014
    • It’s really a fantastic place. The DDP is like an alien spaceship, and the flowers are like some kind of fairytale garden. There’s something to spark everyone’s imagination. 🙂

      November 27, 2014
  6. Sha #

    This reminds me of the Christmas Illuminations in Japan. They are also just as fond of putting up lots and lots and lots of lights for the Christmas period. It can sometimes be blindingly bright..haha…and I love this building! It was under construction for a very long time and I keep thinking that this building matches the Marina Bay Sands hotel in Singapore…haha…:)

    November 27, 2014
    • Unfortunately these lights will be down in a few days, but I do wonder what they’ll come up with for Christmas there. I’m sure it’ll be something equally fantastical! I love the whole waterfront area in Singapore, they’ve really done a wonderful job there. Still dreaming about visiting that infinity pool though… 😉

      November 27, 2014
      • Sha #

        Lol….maybe they’ll have another promotion. ..I’m on their waiting list but I have not seen a promo that well yet…hehe..😉

        November 28, 2014
  7. beautiful 🙂

    November 27, 2014
  8. My first thought was the poppies at the Tower of London, but they were not individually lit, and they were all sold to raise money for the Royal British Legion and other veteran organizations. Thanks for sharing this wonderful experience of urban art and architecture.

    November 29, 2014
    • When the DDP first opened, it seemed like just a big, empty modern space, but they’ve really done a lot of amazing and innovative events and installations to make it a place full of life. If this installation is any indication, I’m really excited to see what else they’ll come up with in the future. 🙂

      November 30, 2014
  9. Shoot! I wish I’d come across this post a few weeks ago. Looks gorgeous! 😀 Ah well, at least Seoul has some stunning Christmas light displays to take in!

    December 24, 2014
    • It was really unique, and I was glad to find out about it when I did. Apparently, it’d been there for months! Who knew? 😉 I’m super excited to see what else they’re going to come up with over at DDP… looks like there might be some interesting things afoot. 🙂

      December 24, 2014
  10. Impressive, I love the efforts to make a city attractive by building unique building/architecture! – The rose garden is a brilliant idea!

    January 31, 2015
    • I think it was originally set up for a watch. Nicole Kidman was there promoting one night. Now, it’s taken down, but I loved it, and am curious about what else they’ll come up with for that space in the future. I’m sure there will be more interesting installations and events there! 😀

      February 1, 2015

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