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Seoul city to build new marina, floating swimming pools

March 21, 2023 - 14:31 By Park Jun-hee
A bird's eye view of Seoul city’s “Art Pier” project (Seoul Metropolitan Government)

The Seoul Metropolitan Government on Tuesday introduced blueprints to build a floating pool and marina facilities on the banks of the Han River in Ichon, central Seoul.

Seoul Mayor Oh Se-hoon said during his trip to Denmark on Sunday that the swimming complex was inspired by the Harbor Bath, an open-air floating public swimming pool in the Danish capital, Copenhagen.

Seoul city authorities explained that Copenhagen’s floating public pool had played a noticeable role in transforming the industrial port into a cultural hub and a tourist landmark which is visited by more than 300,000 people a year.

Tentatively named Art Pier, the swimming complex will be equipped with year-round activities, including water sports, as well as areas where tourists can enjoy arts and cultural experiences. Under the scheme, Seoul also aims to create more docking facilities for leisure boats.

The name Art Pier derives from the art and cultural facilities Seoul plans to create near the riverside as part of the project, as well as the pier jutting out over water that will be used as an entertainment area.

The 5,000 square-meter lot will consist of a 900 square-meter swimming area, mooring facilities for boats, restaurants, performance venues, a sunset observation platform and exhibition spaces, according to the city government. The outdoor swimming area will also have a 25-meter exercise pool, a separate pool for children and warm water pools filled with water from the river.

The city expects the project to cost 30 billion won ($23 million), and will conduct feasibility studies for it this year. Seoul expects construction of the Art Pier to start as early as 2025, with the hope of welcoming visitors sometime in 2026.

The project is part of the city’s initiative to repurpose old spaces into major city attractions. In line with the new plan, Seoul plans to attract foot traffic along the Han river by building more floating pools and places for water recreation, such as water skiing and paddle boarding.

The city government last week unveiled a plan to build an aerial cable car connecting major leisure attractions and cultural sites on the banks of the Han River in order to create waterside transportation routes and attract tourists.