Category: Park/Public Space
Location: Seoul

A disused 1970s highway turned public park and botanical garden, the Skygarden, located near Seoul’s central train station, is South Korea’s answer to New York’s High Line. Designed by Rotterdam-based MVRDV, the half-mile-long pedestrian structure contains 16 pavilions, with shops, cafés, greenhouses, trampolines, footbaths, and performance and exhibition spaces. Most impressive is the landscape design, a veritable encyclopedia of Korean flora, arranged alphabetically—as they grow, the plants will be sold and replaced, meaning the project doubles as a nursery. The Skygarden reunites two parts of the city that had been separated by a highway and rail yards, adding elements of nature, walkability, and human scale to a densely populated and unimaginatively planned megacity. But there’s also a sci-fi sensibility to the design, making it, in juror Troy Conrad Therrien’s words, both “indulgent and fun.”

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