Work begins on Seoul's verdant park in the sky

by Kim Megson | 21 Dec 2015

A busy overpass next to Seoul's central train station has been closed as construction work begins on a new city skygarden designed by Dutch architects MVRDV.

The 45-year old overpass is being stabilised in readiness for its transformation into Seoul Skygarden; a 938m long (3,077ft) public park, featuring cafés, flower shops, street markets, libraries and greenhouses.

MVRDV won a Seoul metropolitan government competition to design the project earlier this year. The studio swayed the judges with its vision of creating a greener, more attractive and accessible neighbourhood in the heart of the city. As part of the scheme, 254 types of trees, shrubs and flowers will be planted along the route.

A large team of partners have collaborated on the scheme, including Dutch landscape designer Ben Kuipers, Dutch designers Studio Makkink & Bey, local architects DMP, local landscape designers KDI, and Korean structural engineers Saman and Cross.

The concept for the project takes its inspiration from similar elevated parks, such as New York’s High Line and the Promenade Plantée in Paris.

The Seoul Skygarden is expected to be completed in August 2017. It will cost approximately US$35m (€30.9m, £22.3m).

To minimise traffic issues and allow for a smooth transition from inter-city overpass to pedestrianised public walkway, the local government has implemented new public transport routes while construction work takes place.

Earlier this year, the overpass was opened to the public to showcase the Skygarden’s potential. A video of the responses can be viewed below.

A number of cities are developing their own elevated linear parks. A community group in London has recently completed a design brief for a similar project on a disused 900m (1km) coal line line between two stations in Peckham.

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South Korea adopts High Line approach with MVRDV's Seoul Skygarden plan

A busy overpass next to Seoul's central train station has been closed as construction work begins on a new city skygarden designed by Dutch architects MVRDV. The 45-year old overpass is being stabilised in readiness for its transformation into Seoul Skygarden; a 938m long (3,077ft) public park, featuring cafés, flower shops, street markets, libraries and greenhouses. MVRDV won a Seoul metropolitan government competition to design the project earlier this year.
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The project aims to create a greener, more attractive and accessible neighbourhood in the heart of the city / MVRDV
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