Skygarden, Seoul


Since its construction in the 1970s, the overpass by Seoul’s Central Station connected Namdaemun market with the area located east of the train tracks until safety inspections in 2006 deemed the structure unsafe and intended to demolish and rebuild it. However, further consultation with residents and experts led to the plan to regenerate the overpass into a pedestrian walkway and public space.

The ambition to make this space as green as possible while introducing new leisure functions called for a modular and adaptable approach. The design proposes a library of local plants arranged according to their name in the Korean alphabet, an arboretum offering visitors the possibility of interacting with the plants and discovering new species. In addition to the circular plant pots of varying sizes, a series of customizable activators such as tea cafés, flower shops, street markets, libraries, and greenhouses provide a catalogue of elements which will enliven the Seoul Skygarden. Additional stairs, lifts, and escalators can connect to the Skygarden, sprouting like branches from the existing structural piers and generating a seamless transition between the different urban tissues. MVRDV Ossip van Duivenbode

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