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The not-so Common Ground

Enter the world‘s biggest cargo container shopping mall in Seoul

Following in the footsteps of Nonhyeon-dong’s SJ Kunsthalle, Common Ground is loaded with approximately 200 cargo containers adds a dose of architectural hipness to the area. Touted as the world's biggest pop-up shopping mall, this four-story building features trending brands for limited amounts of time. The shopping space has two main centers, “Street Market” and “Market Hall,” both connected by a courtyard. A few food trucks sit parked in the courtyard but there’s more food upstairs on the rooftop. In fact, 16 eateries, old favorites and newcomers alike, are now branching out to these unchartered waters.
Shipping containers might conjure up images of dank and dark spaces, but Common Ground has high ceilings and glass windows that let in plenty of natural light on the mall’s noteworthy collection of 70 stores, many of them independent shops from local designers. Feast your eyes on more than just shopping on special weekends when Common Ground hosts colorful flower markets and live performances of emerging artists.

Shops to look out for at Common Ground


Alegria Coffee Roasters

These roasters will lure you in with the toasty, chocolaty aroma of their coffee wafting out of their doorway. Come in late summer to sample the Mary Jane blend, a mixture of top-quality beans, for a real seasonal treat. The baristas wax lyrical about their freshly roasted beans but the real secret to their quality is a passion for coffee.

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Kimchi Bus

Hitting spots as far away as South America, the bus started out as a global project to promote Korean culture through free food on a 400-day trip. Try their specialties, the Majang-dong Taco and three-sauce Bukhansan fries. Follow the crowd to line up for the most popular food truck in the market.

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After seeing Lee Sang-oh’s African Spring collection at Fall/Winter’s Seoul Fashion Week, you might have been on the hunt for items from his up and coming brand. So far, it’s been exclusive to Hong Kong and a lucky few scouring Aland stores in Korea, but Common Ground comes to the rescue with racks of his bright colors and bold prints.

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This brand first made waves under the name Savant in 2005 and since then, has rebranded as Korea’s first generation men’s streetwear label CRITIC. They offer snapbacks, simple graphic t-shirts, and those Patrick Ewing sneakers that rose to popularity after G-Dragon and Go Jun-hee started sporting them.

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