Old Highway In Seoul Transforms Into Stunning Sky Garden

An old highway that hovers over the city of Seoul has been transformed into a Sky Garden that beautifully outlines the city


May 24 2019, Updated 7:45 p.m. ET

New York City is home to the High Line Park, an aerial garden that stretches out nearly 1.5 miles. It’s an elevated patch of the now defunct New York Central Railroad that was repurposed to be a linear park. A similar process was done in Seoul, South Korea, to transform an old highway that hovers on top of the city.

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Dutch architecture company MVRDV launched the new Seoullo 7017 Skygarden last weekend. It’s a little smaller than the New York version, checking in at 938 meters. That’s equivalent to just over 1,000 yards or 0.58 of a mile. Around 24,000 plants are installed in the area. According to their official home page, there are “50 families of plants including trees, shrubs, and flowers displayed in 645 tree pots, collecting around 228 species and subspecies.”

This newly transformed road is located above the Seoul Station. It connects local neighborhoods to the Namdaemun Market, also known as the “Great South Gate.” This is where the oldest traditional market of Korea is located, which started all the way back in 1414. It’s been renovated many times in the past due and has been under fire three times in the 20th century.

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“Seoullo” essentially translates into “towards Seoul,” and the 7017 number is a combination of two dates. The “70” represents the 1970 year that the highway was first constructed. The “17” accounts for 2017, the year that it becomes an aerial garden.

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A unique aspect of the landscape is that it’s arranged based on the Korean alphabet. It shouldn’t be treated as a collectively big garden. Instead, each area has its own theme. As expected, plants and trees will change based on the seasons throughout the year.

The new garden is an attempt to include more greenery in the city area and to attract more citizens and tourists. It’s a complete walkway that’s filled with local stores and coffee shops. The old highway can be lit up at night and usually has a blue color illuminating all the plants. However, the color can be changed based on special events in the area.

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What’s planned for the future? MVRDV explains that the transformed walkway serves as a nursery for the plants. These will be grown and moved to other areas of the city. They also plan to expand on it with “additional structures of stairs, lifts, and escalators as well as new ‘satellite’ gardens.”

The sustainable architecture group has been involved in many other works across the globe. They’ve added over 500 new apartments in the downtown area of The Hague, located in the Netherlands. They’re also in the process of creating an art depot in Rotterdam, which scales at over 160,000 square feet and will hold over 70,000 different art projects.


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