Sunseong Boulevard intends to become one of the civic spaces of Seoul, strongly rooted in Seoul life and traditions in a layered way:
Enhancing the cultural tradition of urban yusang and sunseong, the love of outdoor leisure, especially walking and meeting along the walls, to enjoy the scenery, and record the wonderful experience in writing and drawing (nowadays sharing texts and photos);
Providing not only moving spaces, but places to slow down and stay, like landmarks or urban events… as in the old days the main gates of seoul city wall were scenarios of celebrations, ceremonies and urban life, the new spaces become scenarios of collective life, adapted to today´s citizens´ quotidian needs;
Following the delicate and sensitive art and craftsmanship inherited from Joseon, as an inspiration for the geometrical, material, constructive, and chromatic themes of the project. Furthermore, new urban art pieces pointing at important historical milestones will add to the enhancement of the place’s history.
Caring for the harmony with landscape and nature, from the organic shapes related to the mountains and rivers, to the provision of greenery to improve people´s life and revive local ecosystems, and the inclusion of water as an essential element of Seoul life and history.
Providing a long term urban vision, articulating a green corridors network, connecting the Seoul City Wall walkways with Seoullo7017, Namsan, and the future public park of Yongsan.
URBAN CONNECTIONS: NATURAL AXIS, HISTORICAL AXIS AND SEOULLO
The main guiding idea of the present proposal is the continuity of the existing urban axis. Yangdong is a node where three of these axis intersect: Historical axis, along the line of the Seoul City Wall. Natural Axis, towards Namsan and Yongsan.
And the newly opened and successful Seoullo. Due to this unique circumstance, the creation of this new boulevard in Yangdong is an excellent opportunity to expand and enhance Seoul network of scenic and historical walkways, along with the creation of new public spaces.
Regarding the Historical axis, our first suggestion is improving the integration of Sungyemun into the urban network, in what we find a very natural possible extension of Yangdong boulevard towards the North. Secondly, we feel very natural to facilitate the continuity of Seoul City Wall walkway across the road, towards Namsan.
In order to be as continuous and accessible as possible, an underground crossing provides a safe alternative to the dangerous traffic lights in a fast and wide road, and becomes a new public space housing a small museum of the memory of the Seoul City Wall.
LANDMARKS AND ARCHITECTURAL EVENTS
The historians tell us about the traditional roles Seoul City Wall gates, which were not only access points, but real urban landmarks, a function that remains today, as well as educational elements (each gate naming one confucian virtue), and communal spaces for ceremonies, gatherings and celebrations. Following the same intention, Sunseong Boulevard is punctuated by a series of landmarks or architectural events that enliven the promenade through the boulevard, and provide scenarios for diverse aspects of citizens’ cultural and quotidian life. Each of these landmarks are visually connected, acting as urban attractors and inviting the visitors to keep walking and discover new places they can enjoy.
We propose a total of four landmarks in the boulevard, and suggest three possible additions that expand the intervention beyond its boundaries for a more complete and unified urban vision.
Starting in the North, we propose the North Canopy of Welcome, semi-contiguous to the access of Seoullo, with an observatory connecting visually to Namdaemun.
We suggest the possibility to add a smaller canopy further North, across the street, to integrate Seoullo access in Sunseong Boulevard, and to express our also suggested natural extension of the boulevard northwards, to integrate it with Sungyemun.
Walking Southwards, in the point the existing wall disappears, we suggest an underground passage towards Namsan to recover the continuity of the City Wall promenade, and create a cultural space in the shape of a Memorial Museum of the Wall.
In the central area of the boulevard, a new Agora provides an outdoors relax and enjoyment space for the nearby office workers, with a covered kiosk, modern version fo the traditional Korean garden Jeon.
Next to it is the Water Forest, expression of the importance of water in the city and through the boulevard, this time with a ludic character.
In the same area but outside the boulevard, in the adjacent road crossing, we suggest a larger monument to water, the Water Column, establishing also a symbolic link of the boulevard with Namsan.
Finally the Southern entrance is framed by the Southern Canopy, ending the boulevard, but also suggesting its future extension to the South.
All canopies are built on steel and painted in the project colors, for construction ease, visual consistency and image lightness.