Fifa world cup mega

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During the summer in 2002, people from around the world gathered together in South Korea to watch the most famous game in world soccer, which is the FIFA World Cup game. Since the World Cup committee decided to hold 2002 World Cup in Korea and Japan, city of Seoul in South Korea started to change for their chance to show their beauty to the world. The spectacle of the 2002 FIFA World Cup in South Korea not only offered amusement to the world but also offered delightful beauties of the hosting city. During this mega event, Koreans found the artistic change in their city, and foreigners experienced unexpectedly well crafted sense of Korean art inside and outside of the city. To introduce visually pleasuring spectacles during the World Cup game in South Korea, this paper focuses on application of cultural and traditional artistic values reflected in the aspects of architectural design, infrastructural design and mega structures.


Just like the name mega project, FIFA World Cup is one of the extremely large scaled international sports infrastructural events along with Olympic game. This special event typically attracts a lot of global attention to the hosting city because of its substantial size of fans and their interest toward the game, and the host. According to Zhong-Jie Lin in his 2007 article 'From mega structure to megalopolis: Formation and transformation of mega projects in Tokyo Bay', mega projects include mass reclamation of land, large-scale infrastructure, impressive architecture and the most up-to-date technologies. During the development period in South Korea, a series of grand size projects came up in the city of Seoul as well as in the other provinces and surrounding districts. These projects feature imposing architecture, easy to access transportation, minor festive events beside World Cup, and impressive monuments throughout the cities. Most of the developments represented socio-cultural values of South Korea along with traditional artistic forms and symbols well blended in them. The following paper contains four parts. The first part discusses the architectural design which has its background in the artistic cultural spirit as well as the traditional styles of South Koreans. The second part argues with infrastructural design which it supports the structure as an art form while meeting the function for its efficiency. Third part shortly tells the reader about the representation samples of mega structures and how the mega structures of FIFA World Cup relates to artistic value.

Architectural Design

Before looking at the main architectural designs of the World Cup, a short note is made of the traditional architectural spirit of South Korea. Take a look at two of Koreans old style housings. 'Choga Jip' and 'Giwa Jip' they are the shelter for two different classes in Joseon dynasty. Even though they are made of different materials, and different scale for different classes, it is easy to notice that the curves are involved in their design. Curve is mostly well blended in Korean culture. From their traditional clothing 'Hanbok' to the grand sized palaces, it is easy to find beauty, that's made of curves. Also, keeping the form delicate, elegant, but simple could be counted as Korean beauty.

Main stadium would be considered as the most important architect during the FIFA World Cup game. Choon-Su Ryu was elected for the main stadium designer for the 2002 World Cup . His previous works are, 'Han gye ryung highway service area', 'Gal hyun dong pine tree house', '1988 Seoul Olympic gymnastics stadium', and 'Ritz Carlton Hotel'. He is considered as the architectural designer who reflects the beauty of traditional Korean spirit in his works, and no wonder that he got the inspiration for the World Cup stadium from the traditional toy 'Bang pae Yun', which is shield shaped kite. From above the stadium, it looks like rectangular shaped giant kite.This unique kite shape stadium design contains the meaning of flying hope for winning, as well as flying images and culture of South Korea through World Cup. Also he had the idea of flying hope for united Korea and peace. Another thing that is noticeable is the symbols of 'Hwang po dot ship'surrounding the stadium. The Han river was the main transportation road for the people in Han-yang, Seoul's old name, and the Hwang po dot ship is the symbol for history of Han river. By making the form of gathered Hwang po dot ship around the stadium, it symbolizes the Han river and its history. The curtain structure of the ceiling creates natural curves which represents the traditional Korean ceilings and eaves with the high technology of modern Korea.

Other examples of the Korean beauty reflected stadiums would be Jeon Ju World Cup stadium and Jeju World Cup stadium. Jeon Ju World Cup stadium was voted by the soccer fans and netizens (combined word of network and citizen. As the internet spread widely, the population of people who communicate public matters in the network grew, and the media coined the word netizen.) as the most beautiful stadium in Korea. The four sections of the ceilings and stands of the stadium visualized the 'Hap Jook Sun', which is a traditional fan made as special local product of Jeon Ju. It represents the stadium as a open space for everyone, and the ceiling form of folded fan meets the representation a pole signifying prayer for good harvest called 'Sot dae'. From the pole there are 12 cables supporting the pole, and this 12 cables represents the 'Ga ya Geum', which is a traditional cultural instrument containing 12 strings. Another unique design would be changing the flow of stream, which was flowing through the stadium, to flow around the stadium. Not only that, they also designed a bridge to go over the stream, and enter the stadium walking over that stream. This represents the traditional play of Koreans which is called 'Dap Gyo Nol Ee'. Dap Gyo Nol Ee is an act of stepping over the bridge for the year long luck in Korea, and the designer of the stadium reflected that concept in the Jeon Ju stadium design. Also the primary coloured stands are noticeable. In addition to the joyfully matched colours, each colours represents its own meaning. The blue represents the delightful life style of Jeon Ju city, the red represents the passion of Jeon Book (Province that Jeon Ju is included) citizens, and yellow represents world peace. Jeon Ju World Cup stadium presents the traditional ethos, and artistic cultural mind of Koreans with the leading technologies of 21st century.

Jeju World Cup stadium is located at Seo Gui Po in Jeju island. Seo Gui po is known as splendid scenes of nature with its own island culture. The theme of Jeju World Cup stadium is 5E, standing for, encounter, environmental, empowering, efficiency, and entertainment. Jeju stadium makes good harmony with the surrounding nature. It is easy to agree with that fact, because when they designed the stadium, they made the audience to see the island, ocean and the Halla Mountain at one glance, and they also considered the landmark and weather. They made the soccer ground 14m underneath its original landmark to avoid strong wind, minimized the construction area to half equaling to construction expense reduction, construction period shortage, and after service cost reduction. Also, the Jeju stadium presents 'Olle', which is an entering way made of rocks to prevent strong winds to their traditional housing, at the entrance square of the stadium. For the ceiling, they modernized the 'Ttae woo' (traditional Jeju canoe), and a fishing net. A pillar and bearing represents the five oceans, and the sailboat represents the people of Jeju reaching for the five oceans. Jeju World Cup stadium was also considered as the most beautiful World Cup stadium in the world because of its efficiency as an impressive design and the harmony that it achieves with the nature.

Beside the World Cup stadium, the Incheon international airport is a quite impressing architecture to the visitors. Airport scenes are the first impression of its country, and of course the good first impression is easily continued to the next ones coming up. The spectacles of the airport could be a teaser, or the spoiler of the hosting city. To create function wise, but culture reflected grand structure is hard to create since the building has its must have performances. Incheon airport is designed by Terry Farrell who has a British background, and yet he interpreted the beauty of red crowned crane into the design of Incheon international airport. Red crowned crane is a natural monument of South Korea, symbolizing long life, peace, and fortune. Farrell proposed that he gave sense of big wings of the crane to design of the building, to create peacefulness in contrast with rushes in the airport. Incheon airport contains very astonishing Korean ethos reflected in their design, but it was also designed to handle the high volume of the airline traffics.

Infrastructural Design

Incheon international airport is the busiest and yet very function wise airport throughout northeast Asia. With no wonder of being called the airline hub for Asia, Incheon airport handles one hundred and seventy thousand aircrafts, twenty seven million passengers, and one million and seven hundred thousand tons of cargos per year. The cargo terminal is equipped with ability to pull up 24 aircrafts and the parking ability of 60 aircrafts at the same time. Unlike the previous Kimpo international airport, Incheon airport is available to arrive and depart 24 hour, because it is constructed away from the new urban community area. These facts made easy for the foreign airlines to increase the coming and going aircrafts during the World Cup period without any hassle.

From the Incheon international airport, there are few ways to get to Seoul. One of them is through Incheon International ariport Highway. It is operated as a toll road and the two bridges continuing the highway is being settled as a traffic way and a tour site. 'Bang Hwa' bridge is at the entrance of Seoul connected from the Incheon international airport highway, and it is specially designed only for the Incheon international airport. The Arch truss in the middle of the bridge idealize the taking off and landing aircraft, and the curves of the design gets well blended to the Hengju mountain fortress wall at the north side of the bridge, and the Gaehwa mountain to the south. The Youngjong grand bridge connects the Jangdo and Youngjong do with in Incheon city. Designer applied three different technologies for this bridge which is suspension, truss, and boxed. The suspension part of the bridge hydrides with the surrounding seascape along with the railway and highway, and brings out the synergy of technology and beauty. The beauty of Youngjong grand bridge does not stop there. The designer installed various coloured lighting to reveal its nighttime beauty. Just like the Incheon international airport, Youngjong grand bridge accomplishes its function and the beauty of external appearance.

Within Seoul, everywhere is very easy to access because of the well built system of Seoul metro. Unlike the metro system in Toronto, Seoul has 11 subway lines accompanied with more than 300 bus routes. It could be confusing to those who are not very familiar with the metro system, but once you get the scoop of this system, discovering Seoul is just a piece of cake. During the World Cup period, Seoul city has moved one of their main annual event to the month of May from October. Hi Seoul Festival was originated from the Seoul citizen's day, which was held in October, but for the visitors from the world, the city has changed the date to early May, and its name to Hi Seoul Festival. Hi Seoul Festival has its base camp at Seoul city hall, and it is easy to reach by subway from Incheon airport, or where ever elsewhere within Seoul. To increase the impression of the diverse culture of modern Korea, Seoul metro allowed the proven artworks of the artists and public performers to share their culture with commuters and visitors passing through specific stops in the subway lines. Furthermore they did not forget to display long-established tradition influenced artworks and monuments through murals and mini museums on the subway walls and area. Burrowing one of the foreign visitors interview from the local magazine, '...consider Seoul metro as the most impressive cultural experience I ever had... would like to see how this country grow as it keeps its traditional integrity...' (The Seoul Scope, July issue) the art projects going on Seoul metro seems very successful, exciting and impacting during the World Cup period in addition to the main event that was in the hosting nation. These events were made possible of the spaces provided for it.

Mega Structural Design

        Space has a very close relationship with sizes. The main buildings built for the World Cup, mirrors the beauty of custom; in fact it also mirrors the beauty of mega structures. The World Cup stadiums and the Incheon international airport can be identified as a main mega structure of the mega project in South Korea in year 2002. The main stadium has one storey underground and six storeys above ground to accommodate sixty four thousand audiences. The overall size of the stadium adds the symbol of power and strength to the main concept of shield shaped kite. Moreover grand sizes of the Jeonju Stadium and Jeju stadium imply the similar value. To reach the aspect of mega structure, power, technology, and resources has to be met. Through that process it gets built and become a symbol of what it is made of. In his book 'The story of the Roman Amphitheatre', Bomgardner describes the Colosseum as 'Both symbol and metaphor for the imperial might of the Roman Empire that dominated the ancient Mediterranean world' (Bomgardner, 2000, p.1). Colosseum is a representative sample of grand size monument containing its cultural value. As well as the Colosseum, Eiffel tower in Paris is also considered as the sample of representation. When Eiffel tower was first proposed for the 1889 World's Fair to symbolize their greatness, oppositions jeopardized the completion, but through that hardship Eiffel tower now stand for the most well known symbol for Paris and France. As a tallest structure at the time it represented the gothic arts of France and the grand size adds the greatness and the impact of gothic art at the time. Mega structures not only represent the greatness and power, but it also represents the sense of powerful inclination that is dissolved in the culture, interest, and mind of people. In other word being a mega structure adds some values of the long developed artistic quality implied in the spirit of nation.


        The 2002 FIFA World Cup Mega Project has been a great success of its many other World Cup games: the beginning of construction, throughout the games to the very end of the closing ceremony. This mega global event gives endless possibilities and growth to the hosting cities. In fact it is also a great promotional tool as showing their culture and artistic value to the world. With the World Cup going on, Seoul represented its own beauty through building, and cityscapes, showing their cultural, traditional and visual artistic values in their blood. The spectacles of the 2002 FIFA World Cup in South Korea leads to the ensuing conclusion.

        Inside and outside of the World Cup, the architectural design team focused on revealing artful Korea to the visitors around the world. Their effort and thoughts are very well blended in most of the architecture which played the main role in 2002 FIFA World Cup in South Korea.

The traditional life style of Koreans influenced the design element of the structures, creating harmony with the modern sense of beauty. Seoul stadium, Jeonju Stadium and Jeju stadium synchronizes the element of traditional and modern in their design and function.