The Seoul Metropolitan Government held an international design competition in order to give shape to the Seoul Station 7017 Project. Considering the poor condition of the deteriorating overpass and the characteristics of the surrounding areas, it organized the international competition and invited seven architects and landscapers, from Korea and abroad in the international nomination manner, whose are specialized in integrating architectures, landscaping, and structure, as well as restoring the modern industrial heritages.
Chief Architect The Seoul Metropolitan Government (Head of Judging Panel)
Professor, Seoul National University
Chief Architect, Barcelona
Professor, Kyunghee University
The Seoul Station Overpass is an interesting place where behaviors of different people can be woven. The design was made to emphasize the space as a process of going around to the other neighboring towns, not just as a monument. It was regarded not as a simple square or park but as a space of square and park at the same time where different kinds of plants existing in Seoul can be planted in the flowerpots of the overpass. Being a space for the people among the plants, the Seoul Station Overpass can be a place to invite not only the people but also a variety of things like actions, mother nature, etc.
The design expressed the Overpass as a lighthouse in the midst of the city with seven stories and three pedestrian roads where the community and citizens can participate based on the view of the history and geography.
It suggested a continuous landmarks connecting a wide range of areas in the type of collage with different parts bearing the view of historical places.
The vision and strategy that focuses on turning a concrete structure into a place of vitality and life using nature as a medium were futuristic and innovative. The judges widely supported the design as it allows the extension of the green areas around Seoul Station; places with great importance on the collaborative process of the renewal project; and allowing various citizens and agents to be actively involved. The design was also received a favorable evaluation in the aspect of accessibility enhanced by connecting the Overpass and other important places organically. It shall be advised, however, delicate design for plantation and sustainable management of plant growth are necessary in consideration of the climate of Seoul.
Appropriate level of design was proposed in the effort of tracking the changes of geography and city organizations over time and analyzing the local communities closely to promote changes of its surroundings. Highly appreciated part of the design was the practical aspect that considers the private sectors in which the public intervention is available. Considering cost and operation & management was one of the advantages of the design and the strategy to inducing the participation of local citizens was persuasive. However, the passive attitudes and lack of specific design plans in utilizing the upper part of the elevated road has been pointed out as its limit.
One of the advantages of the design was that it proposed variety of uses corresponding to each exquisitely organized space. The new design approach to bridges connecting Namdaemun and the surrounding areas of Seoul City Wall was creative. However, excessive deformation of the Overpass on the proposed design could not attract the sympathy of all judges.
In order to realize the values and advantages of the prize-winning designs, a management team should be organized with various entities participated and the project should be implemented stage by stage in the long-term point of view. We hope the open spirit of prize-winning designs come true in the course of project progress.
<Panel of Judges: (승효상(Seung Hyo-sang), Vicente Guallart, Dominique Perrault, 조경진(Cho Kyung-jin) and 온영태(On Young-tae)>