With its round-the-clock work culture and a party harder motto, Seoul has been taking over as the new party capital of the world giving strict competition to the likes of Paris and New York City. The latest proposal by MVRDV for revitalising a 938 metre long abandoned stretch on a highway near the Seoul Central Station seems to be along the lines of NYC’s Highline and Paris’s Promenade plantée. A great initiative to promote a healthier lifestyle and a greener city, the Seoul Skygarden motivates people to walk in a world in which Segways seem to be taking over.
According to a joint research by the Seoul Institute and the Korea Planners Association, the Skygarden cuts short the 25 minute walk around the station to a mere 11 minutes. It is also predicted to generate approximately 1.83 times the cost of its renovation and maintenance in economic benefits, creating a win-win situation for all.
Apart from all its economic pays-for-itself benefits, the Seoul Skygarden creates a beautiful public space in the heart of the city. An arboretum of local species, the overpass is populated with 254 species of trees, shrubs and flowers that not only beautify the walkway but arranged in an alphabetical order, also create a directory of species that educate the passersby. In the future, this arboretum is foreseen to evolve with new plants and new activators so as to become an ‘urban nursery’, rearing trees for the surrounding districts.
Almost becoming a tourist attraction of sorts, the Skygarden is envisioned with various leisurely functions scattered along its length. Tea cafes, market spaces, street libraries ,exhibition spaces, green houses and observatories make the Seoul Skygarden so much more than just a convenient detour – a place to relax with the family, a weekend picnic spot, a romantic promenade and lots more.
By: Shamita Chaudhry
Landscape Architects: Ben Kuipers, KDI, Droog
Structural Engineers: Saman and Cross
Sustainability Consultants: EAN
Mep Consultants: Samsin
Traffic Engineers: Song Hyun R&D
Lighting Designers: Viabizzuno and Nanam Ald
App Designer: nhtv
Cost Engineers: Myong Gun
Client: Government of Seoul