Soeul, Korea has transformed a former inner-city highway into a 983-metre long Skygarden and it accommodates the biggest variety of plants. The project, Seoullo 7017, is designed by MVRDV. MVRDV is an architecture design firm founded by Winy Maas, Jacob van Rijs and Nathalie de Vries base in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. Their innovative contemporary design focus on providing solutions for urban issues. The firm’s creative approach vary from designing buildings from all types of sizes to urban planning, publications, installations, and exhibitions. Their goal is to solve environmental issues and build eco-cities that leads us into a better future.
The translation for Seoullo means ‘towards Seoul’ and ‘Seoul Street’. The number 7017, combines the year 1970 when the inner highway was built with the year 2017 where it is transformed into the Skygarden. It’s objective is to make the central station district greener and more attractive while connecting a range of areas. The project has the biggest variation of Korean plants – 645 tree pots collecting 228 species and sub-species. In total, 24,000 plants (trees, shrubs, and flowers) were seeded and will flourish in the park throughout the next decade.
The construction began in 2015, and It was not an easy task. “…the main challenge of the Skygarden has been to transform the existing overpass into a public garden, overlaying a matrix of Korean flora onto the 16m elevated steel and concrete structure. How to transform a 1970’s highway into a Skygarden and how to change the daily lives of thousands of people who cross Seoul’s city centre every day? From the start, MVRDV engaged with this need to change the forgotten and existing infrastructure into a green symbol that will become a catalyst for a greener quarter for Seoul. Together with the municipality, local NGO’s, landscape teams and city advisers are committed to accommodating the biggest diversity of flora into a strictly urban condition. New bridges and stairs connect the viaduct with hotels, shops and gardens.” said MVRDV.
The park is arranged according to the Korean alphabet and each garden has it’s own unique composition, aroma, colour, and identity. As the season changes, it also blossoms differently and even has trees bearing fruits in the summer. In the next decade, it will not only be a sky garden but also an ‘urban nursery’. The plants grown in each section are both physically and visually related to the neighbourhoods underneath. This park aims to boost park activities and city engagement on both cultural and commercial levels.
Here is an introduction to how the park is being utilized: