Unused bridge structures can offer unprecedented opportunities in an urban environment. Probably the most famous example for reuse is New York City’s High Line Park, located on a disused elevated track. Seoul City Administration persues a similar strategy: a large-scale program proposes to make the city greener and more attractive for pedestrians. The heart of the planning is the recently opened Seoullo 7017 Skygarden of MVRDV.
Highway transformation to an urban park
Free spaces are a rare commodity in Seoul. The population density is one of the highest worldwide, closed off traffic areas characterise the city centre. After the implementation of the municipal program, an approximately one kilometre long highway was freed from traffic. The architects of the Dutch office MVRDV won the competition in 2015 and converted the former highway into an attractive urban park. The rampant and curved bridge invites the inhabitants to relax for a brief time and is an important pedestrian connection in the immediate vicinity of the main station.
Strolling at a height of 16 metres
The Seoullo 7017 Skygarden attracts its visitors primarily through its unique perspective from 16 metres altitude. Attractive furniture and a wide selection of 228 different plant species achieves a high quality of amenity value. The indigenous plants are grouped in several small gardens, which each have their own character. The combination “7017” refers to the opening of the highway in 1970 and the park in 2017.