The Sarang Community Church was established in 1978 with 800 members. The church quickly outgrew its facility in Gangnam and, as the area continued to develop rapidly, the church was left with few options for expansion to meet the spatial needs of the growing congregation. When an opportunity arose to purchase a large plot of land just a little over a mile west from the former site, the church raised the necessary funds to secure the land and began raising more funds for the construction of the new facility through the generous gifts of its members. The new facility would be designed to embody the mission and purpose of the SGMC (Sarang Global Ministry Center) in a bold and dramatic way. The main sanctuary is located underground and has a seating capacity of 6,500 people. There are also 10 galleries, a concert hall, a theater, and six other chapels, all underground. Together, the underground facilities alone have a total capacity of 9,380 people and cover an expansive floor area of 90,610 sq. ft. In December 2015, it was deemed “Officially Amazing” by Guinness World Records as the Largest Underground Church in the World. With such a large space and a large congregation moving through the underground spaces, YiEUM Partners’ job was to develop a placemaking strategy and design that would be suitable to the purpose and intent of the SGMC in a fashion that would complement the unique and ambitious facility, while incorporating an authentic and meaningful story through placemaking.
Jang Won Ahn, In Keon Yoo, Jung Woo Yang, Sujin Park, Sun Young Kuk, Chang Suk Yoo
Keun Jeong Architects, Kunwon Engineering, Beck Group, Gansam Architects