MVRDV's Seoul Skygarden of 24,000 plants and trees opens above South Korean capital

The mayor of Seoul, Won-soon Park, has officially opened a 983 metre long botanical “floating walkway” along a transformed city highway.

Designed by Dutch architects MVRDV, the Skygarden, known as Seoullo 7017, is a linear park featuring 24,000 plants, trees, shrubs and flowers from 200 local species – creating “a walkable plant library” for residents and visitors to the city.

“Skygarden offers a living dictionary of plants which are part of the natural heritage of South Korea,” said MVRDV founder Winy Maas.

“They are planted in containers of different size and height and organised in groups of families. The families are ordered according to the Korean alphabet. This leads to surprising spatial compositions”.

Inspired in part by New York’s High Line, the project was conceived to make the city, and especially the central station district, greener, friendlier and more attractive, whilst connecting all patches of green in the wider area.

The architects, the municipality, local NGO’s, landscape teams and city advisers all collaborated on the project. New bridges and stairs connect the overpass with hotels, shops and gardens – integrating the scheme with the communities it passes over.

The Skygarden is separated into several zones, including a collection of small gardens with their own compositions, perfumes, colours and seasonal themes.

At night, the park is illuminated in blue lights, and during festivals and celebrations, different colours can be used to create a celebratory atmosphere.

MVRDV worked together with co-architects, DMP, and a dedicated team of experts including Saman Engineering for structural consultation, Rogier van der Heide and Nanam ALD for lighting, and Ben Kuipers and KECC on the landscape design and plant varieties.

The name ‘Seoullo’ translates as ‘towards Seoul’, while 7017 marks the overpass’ construction year of 1970, and its new function as a public walkway in 2017. There are also 17 connected paths on the route, and the overpass is 17 metres high.

An exclusive interview with Winy Maas about the project will feature in the next issue of CLADmag.

Seoul's deputy mayor, Joon-Kee Kim, talks to CLADglobal about the project

What inspired the idea to create this park in the sky?

In 2014, the idea started to be discussed because of concerns about safety of the citizens. The Seoul Station Overpass – which was built in 1970, crossing east and west of the Seoul Station to relieve traffic congestion – was no longer able to serve as a driveway despite continuous maintenance. Initially, the city government had considered demolishing it, but we finally came up with the idea to reuse it as a pedestrian-friendly road. This decision resolved its safety problems.

Seoul is a city where tradition and modernity harmoniously co-exist. What is necessary for Seoul is urban regeneration that restores historic relics and connects cultural heritage, rather than the construction and development like in the past. Based on these values, we intended to revitalise the surrounding area through the walkway, while preserving the historical features of the Seoul Station Overpass at the same time.

Do you think there is a lot of potential for cities wanting to reuse their existing infrastructure in this way?

Yes, of course, there are many opportunities for other cities that want to reuse their existing infrastructure instead of getting rid of it. Reusing them will make cities realise that 21st century sustainable growth strategies create future value through a paradigm shift that complements and integrates the preservation and change in the city.

What has been the response of the people of Seoul?

The Seoullo 7017 is a symbol of transforming Seoul from a development-centred city into a renewed, sustainable city. But it's the a starting point of this transformation, not the end of it. We expect that citizens and visitors are now able to walk around downtown Seoul within 20 minutes using the Seoullo 7017. With Seoul’s aim to become a walkable city, this garden will improve citizens' quality of life and revive the local economy.

MVRDV  Seoul  Skygarden  South Korea  landscape architecture  design  Winy Maas 
Related stories

Work begins on Seoul's verdant park in the sky

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

FEATURE: In conversation – MVRDV’S Winy Maas, Jacob van Rijs and Nathalie de Vries

The mayor of Seoul, Won-soon Park, has officially opened a 983 metre long botanical “floating walkway” along a transformed city highway. Designed by Dutch architects MVRDV, the Skygarden, known as Seoullo 7017, is a linear park featuring 24,000 plants, trees, shrubs and flowers from 200 local species – creating “a walkable plant library” for residents and visitors to the city. “Skygarden offers a living dictionary of plants which are part
CLD,VAT,ARC,DES
Designed by Dutch architects MVRDV, the Skygarden, known as Seoullo 7017, is a linear park featuring 24,000 plants, trees, shrubs and flowers / Ossip van Duivenbode
More news
News stories: 1 - 30 of 7475     
 
 
 
News stories: 1 - 30 of 7475     
 
 
 
company profile
Company profile: TVS Group
The TVS Group supply and install sports and fitness flooring to a wide range of facilities. We cater for every type of exercise and every level of competition, from recreational to elite level performance.
Try cladmag for free!
Sign up with CLAD to receive our regular ezine, instant news alerts, free digital subscriptions to CLADweek, CLADmag and CLADbook and to request a free sample of the next issue of CLADmag.
sign up
Extreme Climates: Into the wild
"Funding woes and murky timelines are common problems. It can be easier to make a difference one small project at a time"

From parks designed to mitigate the effects of flooding to warming huts for one of the world’s coldest cities, these projects have been designed for increasingly extreme climates

The architecture features clean lines and a diamond shape designed to represent the Dolomite mountains
"Wellness embraces the entire holiday experience"

The design of the newly-opened Lefay Resort and Spa Dolomitti in Italy aims to celebrate and protect its spectacular surroundings

Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
To advertise in our catalogue gallery: call +44(0)1462 431385
features
The resort is near the Great Smoky Mountains national park
"Sam was such a champion for the team, and my goal is simply to carry that same torch"

As Blackberry Mountain resort opens in Tennessee, we find out why the project is a deeply personal one for owner Mary Celeste Beall

NMAAHC, Washington, US
"Most clients are very focused on how buildings are used and experienced as the primary design driver"

The MD of Schmidt Hammer Lassen and the CEO of PerkinsWill tell us why their merger will help create smarter buildings driven by human behaviour

Francis graduated as a landscape architect in Belgium. He returned to Lebanon in 1993
"I believe gardens are where the soul rests"

With a focus on desert landscapes and collaborations with Zaha Hadid and OMA, the principal of Francis Landscapes has a deep belief in the power of nature

cladkit product news
Space Popular creates video installation for the Gwangmyeongmun Gate in South Korea
Gate of Bright Lights was designed to show visitors how screens and digital interfaces have replaced physical objects the gateway between us and the rest of the world.
Lauren Heath-Jones
Multidisciplinary design firm Space Popular has created a video installation for the Gwangmyeongmun Gate at the Deoksugung Palace in Seoul, ...
XTU concept imagines life in the clouds
XTU's X Cloud concept is part of the Future and the Arts: AI, Robotic, Cities, Life - How Humanity Will Live Tomorrow exhibition at the Mori Art Museum in Tokyo
Lauren Heath-Jones
XTU Architects, a Paris-based architecture firm, has released images and renderings of X Cloud, a new concept that showcase a ...
Metalline transforms London hotel with bespoke aluminium fins
The aluminium fins will form the façade of the upcoming Minories Hotel in Aldgate, London
Lauren Heath-Jones
Metalline, an architectural metalwork specialist based in the UK, has created a range of bespoke 3D twisted metal fins for ...
cladkit product news
Canteen collection combines nostalgia with modern aesthetics
The Canteen collection was inspired by post-war British design techniques
Lauren Heath-Jones
Very Good & Proper (VG&P), a British furniture brand, has curated a new dining collection that combines traditional woodworking techniques ...
John Pomp Studios expands Tidal collection
The Eclipse Pendant light was inspired by the lunar eclipse
Lauren Heath-Jones
John Pomp Studios, a design practice based in Philadelphia in the US, has expanded its Tidal collection to include five ...
Naval architect launches solar-powered floating pods
The Anthénea pod is a luxury floating suite that could be used as a spa or treatment suite
Lauren Heath-Jones
Naval architect Jean-Michel Ducancelle has designed a solar-powered floating hotel suite aimed at offering an eco-friendly and nomadic place for ...
cladkit product news
Tino Seubert x Theodora Alfredsdottir lighting collection inspired by mid-century furniture making traditions
The Corrugation Lights were inspired by midcentury and post-war furniture making techniques
London-based designers Tino Seubert and Theodora Alfredsdottir have teamed up to create Corrugation Lights, a lighting collection inspired by midcentury ...
BIG partners with Louis Poulsen for new lighting collection
The Keglen collection is made up of four different pendants
Lauren Heath-Jones
BIG Ideas, the technology arm of renowned architecture firm Bjarke Ingles Group (BIG), has partnered with Danish lighting manufacturer Louis ...
Daniel Svahn creates furniture collection using repurposed table tops
The Goodies But Oldies collection features three pieces made from repurposed MDF table tops
Lauren Heath-Jones
Daniel Svahn, a Stockholm-based furniture designer, has created a new range of sustainable furnishings, made from recycled MDF tabletops. Svahn, ...
x
Sign up with CLAD for regular news updates