Six months ago, several mysterious container boxes filled the empty lot beside the Media Hall. Now, they have turned into π-Ville99, Korea University (KU) space innovation project. Providing team project rooms, study rooms, seminar rooms, and cafeterias π-Ville aims to meet students’ needs for space by breathing life into vacancy. However, after the building completion ceremony on September 8, it is still not fully open yet, leaving some questions and doubts for students.
The name π-Ville was made by taking the first two letters of pioneer, Pi, and relating it to the circular constant π in a hope for the KU students’ creativity and frontier spirit to stretch infinitely. It takes up about 1524.98 square meters, with 38 container boxes making up a five story building. In π-Ville, 15 studios, an auditorium, idea cafe, 3D printer open lab, and several other services are expected to open. Next year in February and August, π-Ville148 and π-Ville22 will be additionally constructed, respectively.
Just as the word village implies, π-Ville aims to emphasize the virtue of KU community by helping KU students and alumni use this place as a starting point for their business dreams. For example, the cafe on the first floor is managed by KU graduates, who have a strong will to contribute to the school members. Furthermore, in the π-Ville seminar room, lectures from successful alumnus and companies are now taking place and will regularly continue in the future. In structuring the building, π-Ville also considered all KU members’ rights, by trying to increase accessibility of disabled students to the building.
However, even though its building completion ceremony was held on September 8, students were not able to fully use the space until the beginning of November without any clear notice from the school. “The construction part is over, but some areas are not open to public because of safety checks,” said Professor Sid Chung (Department of Engineering), the head of the village. He added, “Since the government does not have any clear regulation yet regarding the container box building, new considerations are made daily and, therefore, the opening had to be postponed.”
Therefore, π-Ville99 is expected to open shortly after several additional safety checks. Nevertheless,
concerns about the safety of the building, such as the durability of the container boxes and the cross
bridge between the boxes, remain. “Regarding the cross bridge, there are double protections to prevent students from slipping or falling, and all buildings meet the government standard for earthquakes or other disasters,” ensured Professor Chung. Furthermore, since they are especially worried about the open structure of the building, several usage guidelines regarding drunk students or privacy issues will be made.
“We are excited about the new space, but I think guidelines for reservation and usage purpose should be clearly announced,” said Kim Soo Hyun (’15, Economics). In order to meet these needs of students, a π-Ville online page will be open for students to freely sign in for space, and a Facebook page will be made for more promotion. However, the standards for deciding which of the groups would use the space have to be further adjusted after several tryouts.
π-Ville, starting with ambitious plans and virtuous purposes, had received much anticipations and welcome from students. It is also an innovation that has never been tried in other universities until now, therefore holding many significant values for both KU and the local community members as a whole. Thus, to prevent these anticipations and values from turning into worries or criticisms, mature
usage attitude from students and constant regulation and care from KU is expected.