Gapado AiR

Hyundai Card designs a new kind of sustainable ecosystem

“Hyundai Card designs a new kind of sustainable ecosystem”

Hyundai Card launches ‘Gapado Island Project’ with Jeju Special Self-governing province

Hyundai Card and Jeju Special Self-governing province launches ‘Gapado Island Project’ to revive the island under a new paradigm

Hyundai Card newly designs the island’s ecosystem in line with the company’s CSR philosophy, ‘Change to preserve’

Located off the southern coast of Jeju island, ‘Gapado island’ is rejuvenated into an island where nature, human and culture coexist

Restoration and preservation of natural ecosystem: Existing buildings will be reused to preserve Gapado island’s distinct landscape as much as possible while some coastal roads are planned to be restored into their natural state to recover the severed circulation of the ecosystem.

Establishment of an Independent economy: Developing and expanding the market for locally processed agricultural and fishery products and establishing convenient facilities for visitors. Businesses run by residents will contribute to the revitalization of the local economy.

Coexistence of region and culture: Artists, literati, humanists from home and abroad will reside in ‘Gapado island AiR’ to engage in their work and hold exhibitions, thereby contributing to the island’s cultural values.

The island of green barley, ‘Gapado island’ located in the southern part of Jeju island has been rejuvenated into an island of inspirations where nature, human and culture coexist.

Hyundai Card (CEO Ted Chung) and Jeju Special Self-governing province (Governor Hee Ryong Won) have announced on the 12th that they have launched the ’Gapado island Project’ to showcase a newly revived Gapado island.

‘Gapado island’ is located off southern coast of Moseulpo port in Seoguipo-si, Jeju island; the small island with an area of 0.84km2 currently has around 170 residents.

The pristine nature of the island makes it a Carbon-Free island and the annual green barley festival attracts some 60,000 visitors who come to enjoy the exquisite landscape.

Out of more than 3,300 islands in Korea, it is rare to find an island that is renowned for its own unique charms other than for natural landscapes and leisure activities such as fishing.

Moreover as visitors are concentrated at certain periods of the year and as the overall number of visitors increase, many islands’ distinct ecosystems including the natural environment and businesses are facing devastating consequences.

In recognition of such issues, Hyundai Card and Jeju Special Self-governing province embarked on the ‘Gapado island project’ to revive the island under a new paradigm.

Hyundai Card and Jeju Special Self-governing province have come up with a new concept for the island, at the same time preserving Gapado island’s unique natural environment and beauty.

This reflects Hyundai Card’s CSR philosophy of ‘Change to preserve’; through the ‘Gapado project’ the company tried to promote a ‘sustainable ecosystem’ that is unique to Gapado island where beautiful nature, human and culture can coexist.

Hyundai Card also joined hands with ONE O ONE Architects led by architect Wook Choi, in order to realize the project’s distinctive philosophy and values. Going beyond a simple development or renovation process, it took a considerable time to research into the island’s vegetation, culture and history and derive new values.

To begin with, Hyundai Card devoted to restoring and preserving Gapado island’s natural ecosystem. More focus was given on leveraging existing buildings rather than constructing new ones. Even when building new architecture, it was done so that the island’s distinct flat landscape and existing homes are protected and preserved.

Some sections of the coastal roads not frequently used by the residents have been restored to their natural state helping to recover the severed circulation of the ecosystem. Such efforts will allow many visitors to experience Gapado island’s unique nature and landscape.

Hyundai Card and Jeju Special Self-governing province also established a system to create an independent and viable local economy. Conventional agricultural and marine systems have been upgraded to develop and expand the market for Gapado island-produced agricultural and fisheries products. For the convenience of tourists visiting the island, passenger boat ticket office, accommodation and snack bar have been created among other facilities.

In addition, newly created businesses are run by local residents which will help create new jobs and revert revenues from such businesses to the local economy.

Both Hyundai Card and Jeju Special Self-governing province believe that cultural values play a crucial role in settling a sustainable system for circulation on Gapado island. To this end, ’Gapado Aritist in Residence (Gapado AiR) was established to promote cultural activities of artists, literati, humanists from home and abroad.

Gapado AiR is comprised of a main building and two annexes providing space for the artists’ accommodation, work space, galleries and terrace etc.

Artists residing in these facilities will gain inspirations from Gapado island’s unique natural environment while immersing in their artistic activities, injecting new vitality and cultural spirits throughout the island.

One Hyundai Card official stated that “The total distance that the project managers travelled between Seoul and Jeju island for the past six years amounts to almost five times around the Earth. As part of the project, there was an in-depth research into Gapado island, in addition to frequent conversations with the residents.”

The official added that “The Gapado island project is not yet complete; rather it is at a true starting point. We hope that this project can lay the foundation for Gapado island to evolve into a more livable and inspirational place.”