Floating island in Seoul

The world’s largest artificial floating island has finished its first week as a major new tourism attraction in Seoul, South Korea.

Seoul‘s Han River will eventually be home to a floating archipelago of three man-made “islets”, but the first island, Viva, opened to the public last week.

At 3,271 square meters, it is the second-largest of the three and is home to a three-storey structure housing a 700-seat convention hall and several other attractions such as restaurants and video games.

There are parks, outdoor terraces and viewing points surrounding the center, while at night, the exterior of the building is illuminated with brightly colored light shows.

When the next islands open in September, the 20,400 square meter complex will offer three cultural centers, featuring performances, water sports and aquatic events.

The islands can accommodate 6,200 people and are set to make the Han River, which 59 million people visited last year, an even more popular tourist spot.

While artificial islands have been constructed before, most famously in Dubai, they have generally been formed by pouring sand on the seabed to create artificial land.

Seoul’s islands take a different approach and actually float on the surface of the river using an enormous buoy secured in place by 28 mooring chains, a design which ensures it can withstand changing river levels and bad weather.


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