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Thursday, 24 July 2014

Songdo Convensia, Incheon Yeonsu-gu: Convention inside Songdo International Business District

The Songdo Convensia Convention Center in 123 Central Road/Central-ro, Songdo-dong 6-1 beonji, Incheon Yeonsu-gu is the first project completed in Songdo International Business District and opened for business on October 7th, 2008. Its innovative design by Kohn Pedersen Fox (KPF) and Baum elicits thoughts of the Sydney Opera House and is already a landmark structure in Korea. The main exhibition hall has one of the largest column-free spans in Asia.

Donated to the Incheon Metropole by Gale International and POSCO E&C (Hangul: 포스코건설) and managed by Incheon Tourism Organization, Songdo Convensia now hosts international conferences, trade shows and meetings, and has even become a popular filming location for commercials and music videos.

A pivotal component of Songdo's development as an international business hub, the Songdo Convensia Convention Center is prominently located at the southern end of Incheon Central Park, the main public green space in the 1,415-acre, master-planned community. The low-rise complex is conceptualized as a series of folded roof planes— a “landscape” that extends the natural setting of the park into the city.

The large-scale folds are segments of arcs that contain the convention center's main programmatic elements, including exhibition halls, pre-function areas, support space, and the loading zone. Support spaces are articulated as a series of free-standing blocks, above which the curved roofs floats, like a series of upturned boat hulls. The planar areas between these hull-shaped forms are folded upward to generate a series of large, gable-like openings that push the pre-function areas outward, engaging the street and providing large, light-filled gathering spaces for convention visitors.

The boat elements, which are shaped like large bow-trusses, form the primary structural system for the convention center and support a 144-meter-long, column-free span.

Viewed from the street, the alternating gable and boat forms recall the jagged profile of the surrounding Korean mountain ranges rising through the clouds, a visual metaphor accentuated during the foggy days that pervade Incheon during the year. A head-house area—a long, sweeping volume that contains meeting rooms, the ballroom, and administrative spaces—mediates the relationship between the convention center and Incheon Central Park, as well as the 70-story mixed-use tower, a 30-story hotel, and a retail mall also on the convention center block.

The project has 645,000 square feet (60,000 square meters) of exhibition space, 86,000 square feet (8,000 square meters) of ballroom space, and 50,000 square feet (4,600 square meters) of meeting and conference rooms. A program of sustainable design strategies, from low-e glazing and designated parking for electric vehicles to a gray-water system, ensures that the convention center conforms to the environmental agenda of Songdo IBD.

Over 54,000 sq m, Songdo Convensia is a state-of-the-art convention center with five spacious floors. It is capable of hosting 450 exhibition booths, various exhibition events, and performances. Meeting rooms are equipped with advance information technology such as wireless internet, voice-operated cameras, and LCD projectors. The convention center can house over 2,000 visitors and provides excellent services and amenities for various banquets, family events, weddings, and more.

Facilities available at Songdo Convensia include two main exhibition halls, 23 conference rooms and 3 ballrooms. Some of the support facilities at Songdo Convensia include wireless internet capabilities throughout the entire convention center, RFID card systems, voice recognition cameras, and interpretation in 8 languages.

It is approximately 15 minutes away by car from the Incheon International Airport and an hour from Seoul, making it an pleasant and convenient place to convene for business and tour the Seoul metropolitan area. The center is surrounded by six outstanding hotels, a department store, and a number of shopping malls.