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Abandoned buildings are renovated for new purpose

Posted December. 19, 2019 07:46,   

Updated December. 19, 2019 07:46


“It’s wonderful to sing and spend time together with my neighbors,” say the residents at Chungryeoldae-ro, Dongrae-gu in Busan gathered at the “1979 Hackberry House,” expressing their appreciation for the new facility. 1979 Hackberry House has become a place where locals get together.

Dong-rae District Office of Busan purchased the empty building that had remained abandoned for several years. It invested 280 million won to remodel the first floor as a common kitchen, second floor as an art studio, the top floor for a movie and performance theatre.

The top floor hosts late night movies at least once every quarter. Locals gather to cook together in the common kitchen. Thirteen local programs are run on the second floor. Those who wish to rent the place can apply at the local community council. Close to urban railway station and bus stations, the location is open 24 hours and has received around 5,000 visitors since opening in May.

Known as an industrial hub in the 1970s and 80s, Palbok-dong in Jeonju City is a place that reflects changes of the past. Dust rested on factories that had been shut down and locals’ residential environment deteriorated. Though not as many as its heydays, there are still many factory workers living in Palbok-dong. The city government of Jeonju tried a new experiment in 2015. It decided to create a complex cultural center that seemed out of place from its surroundings.

Jeonju City purchased a cassette manufacturing facility that had remained shut down for 23 years and came up with a plan to transform the rundown place with the support of locals, artists and entrepreneurs. The project went on for two years.

In 2018, the rundown factory was renovated as an art lab, exhibition facility, café and bookstore and re-opened as the “Palbok Art Factory.” The Art Factory provided new jobs and expanded Jeonju’s tourist landscape, which had been overwhelmingly focused on Hanok Village.

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