The former city hall of Seoul was located in what is now the Seoul Metropolitan Library, in front of the current, modern Seoul City Hall building. That building served as city hall from Korea's liberation in 1945 up to the construction of the modern building in 2008. Following a competition for a new city hall, the jury[which?]) awarded the commission to Yoo Kerl of iArc on February 18, 2008. Yoo said, "Major keywords for designing the new building are traditions, citizens, future. I analysed low-rise horizontal elements, curvaceousness, and shades of leaves in our traditional architectural characteristics, and I applied these to the design so I can recall comfortable feelings of old things."
In 2012, the new City Hall was opened to the public on 27 August and the city government moved in on 1 September. The project, which took four years and five months to complete, also includes multipurpose halls and cultural facilities for citizens. The old building, registered as a cultural asset, has been converted into a library, and boasts a collection of more than 200,000 books.