News of something new coming to the town always excites us. However, if we can recreate an old and unused place into a more enjoyable entity for a community, it would be not only exciting but also meaningful. F1963 in Busan, South Korea, is a perfect example of a purposeful transformation of a place for the local community.
20 Gurak-ro, 123 Beon-gil, Suyeong-gu, Busan, South Korea
> Bus: No. 54. Get off at Goryeo Jegang (고려제강) bus station
> Parking available
F1963, From Factory To Cultural Complex
F1963 is a multicultural complex enclosing art, food, shopping, and more. You can enjoy music concerts, read books, appreciate paintings, and sip a good java at F1963. Or, you simply want to sit in the outdoor garden and do completely nothing.
The place was originally a wire rope factory. The wire manufacturer, Kiswire (고려제강), had produced wire ropes at this location for 45 years from 1963 to 2008. In 2016, the facility was recreated as a venue for the Busan Biennale, a biennial art festival. Its name ‘F1963’ is a combination of ‘F’ in a ‘factory’ and the number, ‘1963,’ the year when the factory first opened.
The whole complex covers an area of 22,279 square meters (about 5.5 acres). The renowned Korean architect, Jo Byeongsu, led the process of remodeling and the architecture of the complex itself has become an artwork. The team gave a lot of effort to keep the original facility as much as possible. For example, they reused the wooden truss and iron plates from the old factory as benches and signs throughout F1963.
Terarosa Coffee is a popular Korean coffee roastery with wide recognition. They serve coffee from different origins over the world. Also, you can have their house-made wild yeast bread and desserts with their java.
In addition to something pleasant to your mouth, this huge coffeehouse has something interesting to your eyes. In the entrance area, you can see an installation artwork using wires by Son Mongju. Also, the bobbins and generators from the original factory are used for the interior design. When you sit at the table, take a good look at it. Some of the tables are recreations of old iron plates from the wire factory.
Yes 24 Bookstore
This bookstore has more than 200,000 books including out-of-print books. You will see the exhibition of the printing process and experience a Crema machine. In addition to books, explore a plethora of other items like stationery, accessories, toys, and more. The place offers enough space to read and they have a kid’s zone if you visit the bookstore with your children.
Kukje Gallery Busan
This is the second location of Kukje Gallery, a leading art gallery in South Korea. The gallery has its flagship location in Seoul. Since they opened this new location, Kukje Gallery Busan has been introducing diverse artworks including paintings, sculptures, and photography to the Busan audience.
Sori Trail (Bamboo trail)
The sign at the Sori Bamboo Trail explains why F1963 embraces the bamboo forest at the urban complex:
“Bamboos stand upright while being flexible. The foundation is strong because they are firmly rooted. They have remarkable growth, and, most of all, they have the composure to let even the strongest wind pass them by…these qualities and characteristics of bamboo resemble those of wires…”
To create an open space for a variety of cultural events, the ceiling of the old factory came down during the remodeling process. The design of the square symbolizes a combination of earth, sky, and people. Surrounded by the herb gardens and the open sky, you will feel refreshed at this square.
Sukcheon Hall is a performance venue with 600 seats that can be rearranged on need. You can find the schedule of upcoming events on the F1963 website.
F1963 Art Library
F1963 Art Library is dedicated to books and other materials about art. The library owns over 11,000 books covering architecture, music, fine art, design, photography, and more.
Hyundai Motor Studio Busan
Hyundai Motorstudio Busan opened on April 7th, 2021 and this five-story building is the newest addition to F1963. This is Hyundai Motorstudio’s sixth location after one in Seoul, Goyang, and Hanam in Korea as well as Beijing and Moscow.
Hyundai Motors says that this new studio in Busan provides visitors with content and experiences that reflect how great design enriches our everyday lives. In the studio, you can explore the digital media artwork, the old models and future designs of Hyundai Motors, and some hands-on events. The studio also has a restaurant and a cafe.
Boksoondoga (복순도가) is a Korean restaurant run by the makgeolli brewery with the same name. The brewery specializes in sonmakeolli (hand-brewed rice wine) and emphasizes that they only use rice harvested in South Korea and their own ‘nuruk’, traditional yeast. They use house-made jang (Korean sauces) for all their menus.
Praha 993 is a Czech brewery and pub. The number ‘993’ in its name is the year when the first Czech beer was brewed at Brevnov Monastery and Praha 993 uses its recipes. At this pub, you can pair Czech beer with Czech food such as Koleno, beer-marinated pork knee roasted slowly in herbs and spices.
When you go around the buildings, you will get to Glass Greenhouse which embraces rare plants and organic vegetables, and the tranquil Moonlight Garden.
If you are looking for a restaurant outside of F1963, El Olive is within walkable distance. Read my post on the restaurant here.