MVRDV to turn Seoul waterfront from gray to green
MVRDV already added significant greenery to Seoul with its transformation of a 1970s highway into a plant-filled walkway, and now the Dutch firm plans to do the same to a large stretch of waterfront in the city too. Named The Weaves, the project is due to begin construction in 2021.
The Weaves is the result of an architecture competition and will be located between Seoul's former Olympic Stadium in the city's Jamsil district and its burgeoning central business district in Gangnam, which is currently dominated by concrete car parks and highways.
MVRDV, working alongside NOW Architect and Seoahn Total Landscape Architecture, will alter the path of the river from a straight canal to a more natural-looking meandering waterway. The area surrounding it will be planted with large amounts of native vegetation and smaller streams and pools will be created too.
It's an ambitious project, stretching over 1 km (0.62 miles), and will include a mixture of parks and interconnected pedestrian and bicycle paths. One stretch of pathway will spell Seoul in a long, looping script, while others will intersect to create a viewing point. Elsewhere will be plazas, more viewing points, amphitheaters, cafes, and other amenities. Additionally, an existing highway ramp will be turned into an elevated park and a new bridge will connect the Gangnam district to the Olympic Stadium area.
"Seoul is taking amazing steps to transform gray and obsolete infrastructure into lively green and social spaces," says MVRDV founding partner Winy Maas. "The Weaves is a design that introduces natural landscape combined with exceptional, varied access. It also responds to the local identity. Jamsil is known for its history of silk production and the design recalls the tangled silk threads of its past in a unique and playful way. It becomes an intertwining poem where movement becomes landscape poetry."
Work on the project is expected to be completed in 2024.