World's largest spokeless Ferris wheel to become striking gateway to Seoul
The Seoul Metropolitan Government (SMG) has revealed plans to build the world's largest spokeless Ferris wheel. The huge metallic ring will reach an impressive maximum height of 180 m (590 ft) and provide visitors with superb views of the beautiful South Korean landscape.
In addition to claiming it's the world's largest spokeless Ferris wheel, the SMG says that the aptly named Seoul Ring will also be the world's second-largest Ferris wheel overall. First place is currently held by the Ain Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, which reaches a height of 250 m (820 ft). However, there is another planned for Staten Island named the New York Wheel that, if completed, will reach 192 m (630 ft), so may well knock the Seoul Ring down to third place overall.
Once in operation, the amusement ride will host roughly 1,470 passengers per hour, with a maximum of around 11,790 passengers per day. The power for moving around all these people will be at least partly sourced from renewable energy, though we've no word yet on exactly what this will entail.
Though there are no finer details yet on exactly how it will operate, the few previous spokeless Ferris wheels that have been constructed, such as China's Weifang City attraction for example, don't actually rotate like the typical Ferris wheels seen in fairgrounds around the world. Instead, the carriages are pulled around the exterior rim using a geared system and the main structure itself remains stationary. The renders for the Seoul Ring suggest that it would work similarly.
The Seoul Ring will be built on the man-made Nodeul Island, in Haneul Park, which was originally used as a landfill site but has been transformed over decades into a popular local landmark that's relatively close to the North Korean border. Electric self-driving buses are planned to help people get to and from the location and a cable car system is also being considered.
"Haneul Park is deemed a meaningful place for its symbolism as a gate to both Seoul and unified Korea and as a location geographically close to North Korea which shows the harmony and reunification of the Korean race," said the SMG. "Seoul Ring will break away from the traditional design of spoked Ferris wheels and use innovative technology to create an aesthetically advanced spokeless design. The city consulted with domestic and international experts in architecture and engineering to secure construction safety and structural integrity of the spokeless design of Seoul Ring."
The project is slated to begin construction in 2025 and is expected to be completed by the end of 2027.
Source: Seoul Metropolitan Government