A Dutch architecture firm that previously turned heads in Seoul for less than favorable reasons has been selected as part of an international design competition to transform a decaying stretch of elevated highway in the South Korean metropolis into a joyous — and really giant —public garden that’s positively bursting at its concrete seams with a variety of flora.
The Seoul Skygarden, a magnificent floating arboretum of sorts, would breath new life into the Seoul Station Overpass, an elevated two-lane roadway built in the 1970s as a direct connection to Namdaemun Market. Unlike the 11th Street Bridge Park, a project that will be erected atop the foundations of a long-demolished freeway bridge spanning the Anacostia River, Seoul Station Overpass is currently open to traffic.
According to a government spokesperson, the city is expected to sign a contract with MVRDV next month; a series of public hearings “to make the plan more concrete” are also in the works. Traffic would be blocked from the overpass in October of this year and, if all goes as planned, the Seoul Skygarden would be open to the public as soon as 2017.