Lighting the way in Seoul

Nick Myall
Wednesday 01 Nov 2017

The Lightwalk is a symbol of a renewed Seoul, which aims to become more pedestrian friendly, where users can experience natural light and air, deep beneath the ground, in the Groundscape

Designed by Dominique Perrault Architecte, The Lightwalk is not only an architectural component, it is also a part of the territory and the ground of Seoul in South Korea. Defined as a Land Art intervention, it belongs to the city scale, in dialogue with the Han River and Tancheon Stream and the mountains in the background.

It is a minimalistic, yet incredibly powerful gesture, which marks the presence of a new major integrated public transportation station

for the city of Seoul. Situated between the two main roads of the Gangnam district, Bongeunsaro and Teheranro, the Lightwalk

creates a landscape intervention linking the two axis and acts as an orientation mark from all sides. Like a ruler, a single line marks the territory and gives a measurement unit, in otherwise out of urban fabric scale, made out of stretched wide streets and skyscrapers such

as a future GBC tower. The Lightwalk creates a new horizon. Rooted in the ground, it is the symbol of a renewed Seoul, which aims to

become more pedestrian friendly, a landmark for all underground infrastructures worldwide, where users can experience natural light and

air, deep beneath the ground, in the Groundscape. 

Implementing an airport sized piece of  infrastructure within the middle of the city fabric implies a careful attention to ensure that the weaving of this new element will perfectly fit within the existing city while creating new links and comforts rather than boundaries or limits.

The cohesion of Seoul International District is made through a strong emphasis on a green network which weave all streets and plots together from the Jamsil MICE district in the East to the COEX to the West. Pedestrians will be offered a continuous

tree canopy to experience a renewed urban quality leading to a new major landmark park offered to all Seoul habitants: The Green Land.

On a much different scale, the Green Land, covering about 28 000 sq m, will be Gangnam’s response to New York’s central park or London’s Hyde Park.

It will become the central point of the new green network in order to become the green heart of the Seoul International District, creating a new centrality between the COEX and the GBC. In order to develop and strengthen the existing green network, existing tree rows are extended and new ones added, establishing a ‘Green Weave‘ at the district scale, stretching from ‘The Green Land’ towards the eastern riverfront. The new planting strategy connects the existing green structures bordering the site but also extends throughout the district.

He’s protected on four sides by a double line of high canopy trees covering an intimate promenade in reference to the Palais Royal Garden in Paris.

The tree frame creates a foreground allowing a transition between intimate human scale on ground level and the city scale of the surrounding towers as well as an acoustic shield from the hustle and bustle of the street. Everyday users will find pocket parks and a variety of ambiances to enjoy such as kid’s playground, relaxing areas, cafes, kiosks, amenities and services.

The central meadow is designed to allow the greatest flexibility of uses during the year, a space where everything becomes possible. Through its flexibility the park, like the trees and flowers will express the passing of time and the changing of season, allowing a wide variety of activities to take place along the year, from simply relaxing on the grass to a concert or a fireworks, a fair in spring, a festival in autumn, ice skating in winter, open air cinema or a food market in summer.

Yet, the ring of trees circling the Green Land will feature high canopy evergreen trees, so as to ensure it provides shelter and comfort all year around.

Key Facts:

South Korea

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