May 14, 2015 12:42
An old traffic overpass in front of Seoul Station will be transformed into a large tree-shaped arboretum. The Seoul Metropolitan Government on Wednesday said it chose Dutch architect Winy Mass to re-design the elevated highway.
The designer wants to use LED lights to transform 17 ramps from the overpass into "tree branches" that reach out to other parts of the city. The park is to be planted with local plant species.
Under plans to make the Seoul Station area a greener and user-friendly space, the city asked seven architects from around the world to draw up a plan.
The city is pushing the project despite strong opposition from market traders at Seoul Station and Namdaemun Market who fear their business will suffer when the overpass is blocked.
Cho Sung-il of the city government said, "Before starting the project we will hold hearings for locals and consult experts to make the plan more concrete, and sign a contract with Mass in June."
The city plans to block the overpass from as early as October to start work on the project, which is to be completed in 2017.
Many believe the project aims to establish a legacy for Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon, who has few palpable achievements to show for his tenure so far and may hope to run for the presidency in 2017.
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