SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA, April 2, 2018 – As part of the urban regeneration project, the space under the subway overpass adjacent to the Oksu station has recently completed its transformation into an urban green space for public cultural activities, and is scheduled to be open to the public on April 3, 2018. This area, now named “Darak Oksu” – “Darak” defines “many funs” in Korean, had used to be rarely visited and neglected by people for a long time.
Darak Oksu with a sloped green roof features 196 square meters of multi-functional space for, e.g. book readings and cultural lectures, and “free garden” where natural light is directed below the overpass using a solar concentrating system to provide the area in which plants can be grown. Similar technologies were used for the Lowline, an underground park in New York City. In addition, a performance stage and stands have been built and connected to the nearby open-air square, according to resident and expert opinions.
Meanwhile, the Seoul Metropolitan Government prepared last year the comprehensive plan to transform abandoned spaces under overpasses and railways throughout the city into cultural spaces for the citizens. Currently, Seoul has about 180 such places that account for almost 55 percent of the total size of Yeouido, the financial district located on a large island on the Hangang River. 10 percent of them are now being used as parking lots and warehouses, and others are being left unused.
In case of Darak Oksu, the city government designed the space and provided a needed budget, and the Seongdong-gu Office, the autonomous district taking care of the area, undertakes the construction and operations of it. The Seongdong-gu Office will invite residents, landscape experts and those involved to form civil governance and develop diverse programs for the place.