Dutch firm MVRDV has been selected to transform an elevated street in Seoul into a public park that could become South Korea’s response to the High Line.
MVRDV will work alongside Dutch design studio Studio Makkink & Bey and landscape designer Ben Kuipers to overhaul the 938-metre-prolonged Seoul Station Overpass, creating a new pedestrian pathway boasting 254 species of trees, shrubs and flowers.
Their competition-winning idea, known as the Seoul Skygarden, also requires producing a nursery for cultivating plants for the city’s other green spaces, alongside cafes, flower stores, libraries and greenhouses.
“Many viaducts and pedestrian overpasses in Asian cities are purely practical factors but, due to the scale of the Seoul Station Overpass, an possibility exists to develop a exclusive public area in the heart of Seoul,” explained MVRDV, which is also producing a square-shaped garden peninsula to host the Planet Horticultural Expo in 2022.
The overpass was constructed in the 1970s as a connecting street between Namdaemun market place and the west of the city, and it crosses a major railway station. But in 2009 it had to be closed to hefty autos soon after inspections identified it to be unsafe.
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Rather than demolishing it, a competitors was launched inviting architects and designers to submit tips for its reuse.
The decision follows on from the city’s ambition to grow to be a single of the world’s most eco-pleasant cities – a goal revealed by Seoul mayor Oh Se-Hoon in 2008. He believes the metropolis could grow to be “a city inside of a park”.
The old Cheonggyecheon stream – which at one stage was used as a highway – has currently been reestablished as a public waterway, and the government has also been hunting at approaches to tackle air pollution and renovate abandoned buildings.
“The Seoul Skygarden hopes to develop on the city’s ambition to be greener, much more eye-catching and a lot more user-pleasant so as to inspire a procedure of modify for the total neighbourhood,” said MVRDV.
The new route will cut the 25-minute walk all around the station to just 11 minutes, and will create one.83 instances the value of its renovation and maintenance in economic rewards, in accordance to analysis by Seoul Institute and the Korea Planners Association.
The arboretum, described by the designers as “a library of plants”, is central to the idea and will be organised in accordance with the Korean alphabet to make the park straightforward to navigate.
The design is also meant to be flexible, enabling it to change or increase in the long term. Staircases, lifts and escalators could be additional to develop much more access factors, and the designers suggest that satellite gardens could also be installed alongside, “sprouting like branches from the existing structural piers”.
The project is due to total in 2017 and be delivered in collaboration with various neighborhood partners, like architecture office DMP, landscape studio KDI and structural engineers Saman and Cross.
It is the most current in a series of proposed landscape projects inspired by the Large Line – the popular New York park made by architects Diller Scofidio + Renfro, landscape architects James Corner Discipline Operations and planting designer Piet Oudolf.
Other folks consist of a landscaped promenade linking gardens and railways arches along the River Thames in London and a three-kilometre-lengthy elevated park in Bari, Italy.