Seoul, South Korea’s capital, is now offering a 983 meters long botanical floating walkway. In return, plenty vehicles driving on this former inner city highway had to go. A meaningful step towards a car-free city? Well, maybe this is too euphoric.
Seoul’s Skygarden Hosts Roughly 24,000 Plants
Officially inaugurated on 20 May 2017 by Seoul’s mayor Won-soon Park, the new public garden Skygarden, Seoullo 7017, hosts around 228 local plant species. All the various trees, shrubs and flowers transformed the air polluting highway to a green recreational walkway.
— MVRDV (@MVRDV) 20. Mai 2017
“Our design offers a living dictionary of plants which are part of the natural heritage of South Korea and now, existing in the city center. The idea here is to connect city dwellers with nature, while at the same time also offering the opportunity of experiencing these amazing views to the Historical Seoul Station and Namdaemun Gate,” said Winy Maas, founding partner of MVRDV.
Skygarden’s name Seoullo means ‘Seoul Street’ and ‘towards Seoul’. It was built in 1970. With 645 tree pots and roughly 24,000 plants spreading on an area of 9,661 square meters, it might not be easy to recognize the present-day viaduct. Several stairs, elevators but also ramps, partially from the on-ramps built for the original highway, are connecting Skygarden with different parts of the area.
According to MVRDV, the Dutch designer studio who won the project in May 2015, every season has its own particular theme: “bright colours of leaves in autumn of the Aceraceae family (maples), the blossom of cherry trees and rhododendron in spring, the evergreen conifers trees in winter and shrubs and trees bearing fruit in summer.”
“The pedestrianised viaduct next to Seoul’s main station is the next step towards making the city and especially the central station district, greener, friendlier and more attractive, whilst connecting all patches of green in the wider area.” said MVRDV.
Client is the Seoul Metropolitan Government.
Images: Ossip van Duivenbode