Architecture

1970s highway starts new life as greenery-filled walkway

1970s highway starts new life ...
The Seoullo 7017 Skygarden is located in the heart of Seoul
The Seoullo 7017 Skygarden is located in the heart of Seoul
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The Seoullo 7017 Skygarden involved the renovation of a 1970s-era highway overpass into a 983 m (3,225 ft)-long public attraction
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The Seoullo 7017 Skygarden involved the renovation of a 1970s-era highway overpass into a 983 m (3,225 ft)-long public attraction
The Seoullo 7017 Skygarden includes small cylindrical cafes, flower shops, and street markets
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The Seoullo 7017 Skygarden includes small cylindrical cafes, flower shops, and street markets
In some cases, the Seoullo 7017 Skygarden's 24,000 plants may take up to a decade to reach their full height
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In some cases, the Seoullo 7017 Skygarden's 24,000 plants may take up to a decade to reach their full height
Envisioned as a collection of small gardens joined together, the Seoullo 7017 Skygarden was carefully landscaped and its overall look will change according to season
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Envisioned as a collection of small gardens joined together, the Seoullo 7017 Skygarden was carefully landscaped and its overall look will change according to season
The Seoullo part of the 7017 Skygarden name derives from Seoullo, Korean for both "towards Seoul" and "Seoul Street," while 7017 reflects the overpass' original construction year of 1970 and its re-opening as a park in 2017
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The Seoullo part of the 7017 Skygarden name derives from Seoullo, Korean for both "towards Seoul" and "Seoul Street," while 7017 reflects the overpass' original construction year of 1970 and its re-opening as a park in 2017
MVRDV says that additional structures, as well as more gardens, could be connected to the Skygarden
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MVRDV says that additional structures, as well as more gardens, could be connected to the Skygarden
The Seoullo 7017 Skygarden is 16 m (52 ft)-high
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The Seoullo 7017 Skygarden is 16 m (52 ft)-high
Porthole-style glass floor sections allow visitors to the Seoullo 7017 Skygarden to gaze below
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Porthole-style glass floor sections allow visitors to the Seoullo 7017 Skygarden to gaze below
Rather than just leave the former highway as a kind of marooned walkway, MVRDV sensibly added a network of bridges and stairs
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Rather than just leave the former highway as a kind of marooned walkway, MVRDV sensibly added a network of bridges and stairs
Rather than just leave the former highway as a kind of marooned walkway, MVRDV sensibly added a network of bridges and stairs
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Rather than just leave the former highway as a kind of marooned walkway, MVRDV sensibly added a network of bridges and stairs
The Seoullo 7017 Skygarden is located in the heart of Seoul
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The Seoullo 7017 Skygarden is located in the heart of Seoul
The Seoullo part of the 7017 Skygarden name derives from Seoullo, Korean for both "towards Seoul" and "Seoul Street," while 7017 reflects the overpass' original construction year of 1970 and its re-opening as a park in 2017
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The Seoullo part of the 7017 Skygarden name derives from Seoullo, Korean for both "towards Seoul" and "Seoul Street," while 7017 reflects the overpass' original construction year of 1970 and its re-opening as a park in 2017
The Seoullo 7017 Skygarden includes small cylindrical cafes, flower shops, and street markets
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The Seoullo 7017 Skygarden includes small cylindrical cafes, flower shops, and street markets
The roof of this particular cylindrical building in the Seoullo 7017 Skygarden can be accessed 
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The roof of this particular cylindrical building in the Seoullo 7017 Skygarden can be accessed 
At night, the Skygarden is lit blue but the color can be changed during festivals and city celebrations
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At night, the Skygarden is lit blue but the color can be changed during festivals and city celebrations

It's always interesting to see how well fanciful renders translate into an actual project and the MVRDV-designed Seoullo 7017 Skygarden is no exception. Following the concept's unveiling a couple of years ago, the highway-turned-walkway/park has now opened to the public.

The Seoullo 7017 Skygarden is located in the heart of Seoul and can be thought of as a South Korean take on NYC's High Line. It involved the renovation of a 1970s-era highway overpass into a 983 m (3,225 ft)-long public attraction.

Some 24,000 plants have been installed on the 16 m (52 ft)-high steel and concrete structure, including trees, shrubs and flowers. In all honesty, the project looks rather bare compared to the vision the renders promised but this is understandable as the greenery will take some time to grow – indeed, up to a decade to reach their full height, in some cases. In the future, the idea is for the overpass to serve as a kind of urban nursery, rearing trees for replanting in nearby districts.

Small cylindrical cafes, flower shops, and street markets help to break up the landscaping, and porthole-style glass floor sections allow visitors to gawk at the streets below. At night, the entire Skygarden is lit up blue, but the color can be changed during festivals and city celebrations.

Rather than just leave the former highway as a kind of marooned walkway, MVRDV sensibly added a network of bridges and stairs
Rather than just leave the former highway as a kind of marooned walkway, MVRDV sensibly added a network of bridges and stairs

Rather than just leave the former highway as a kind of marooned structure, MVRDV sensibly added a network of bridges and stairs to provide connections to hotels, shops and gardens, in some cases significantly reducing the commute for locals. MVRDV also says that additional structures, as well as more gardens, could be connected to increase its size.

"The pedestrianized viaduct next to Seoul's main station is the next step towards making the city and especially the central station district, greener, friendlier and more attractive, whilst connecting all patches of green in the wider area," says the firm in a press release.

The Seoullo part of the 7017 Skygarden name derives from Seoullo, Korean for both "towards Seoul" and "Seoul Street", while 7017 reflects the overpass' original construction year of 1970 and its re-opening as a park in 2017.

Source: MVRDV

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