Seoul City aims to refurbish the park into an urban realm with global competitiveness
In an effort to refurbish Seoul Grand Park into a world-class park with an international brand power, Seoul City announced on Dec. 28 last year that it selected the final entry ‘GAIA: The Living World,’ a concept design by a consortium of five companies from South Korea, the United States and Singapore to redevelop the 31-year-old park, throughout an international competition.
The most eye-catching aspect of the winning entry is that it combines the existing zoo, amusement park and botanical garden without boundaries. By harmoniously integrating such facilities in Seoul Grand Park, the proposal aims to create a place where human beings, animals and plants co-exist. In addition, the proposal plans to redevelop the park as the world’s first fifth-generation theme park by emphasizing the concepts of environment-friendly and an ecosystem and differentiating it from the world’s famous amusement parks such as Disney Land or Universal Studio.
Under the winning proposal, Seoul Grand Park will be redeveloped into two areas; a public park and The Living World. The public park will be free of charge, but The Living World will charge an admission fee to use facilities there. The public park will be built on an area of 701,000 square meters where it will be open to the public. The park will feature four themes as well as Seoul Walk, Lakeside Park, an urban farm, parking lots and a range of facilities for leisure. The Living World will be built at another area on 3,237,000 square meters in the park to let visitors experience different climate zones. It will have new attractions, including the Great Savanna, the Korean Forest, Ice Age, Jungle Cruise and Woodeumji Village.
Woodeumji Village acts as the main gate for The Living World and will have world-class entertainment facilities and structures under the themes of the future and the ecosystem. There will be a Night Safari at Great Savanna, allowing visitors to view animals that can be seen in tropical savannas. The Ice Age is expected to be popular with visitors from Southeast Asian nations. Visitors can watch animals and rare plants in both polar zones in an open vehicle. In addition, there will be a ‘Square of Snow’ in the Ice Age, which will include a snow-sled rink, an ice-skating rink and an ice-climbing zone.
During the first-stage of construction between 2012 and 2015, Seoul City plans to complete building the urban farm, Seoul Walk, Lakeside Park, Woodeumji Village and parking lots. Between 2016 and 2018, or the period of the second-stage of construction, the Jungle Cruise, Oceania and Theme Zone B will be built. During the third-stage of construction between 2019 and 2020, the Great Savanna, Ice Age and the Korean Forest will be built.