Seoul / Changing urban fabrics (II): creation of public space along Cheonggyecheon
Besides the economic and environmental benefits brought to the neighbouring regions, the Cheonggyecheon restoration project has also introduced a series of public spaces together with the linear park along the stream. Cultural life has also been incorporated to promote Cheonggyecheon as a leisure region rich of culture and art.
The Cheonggye Plaza was constructed at Jung-gu, the commencing spot of the restoration project. It was designed with reference to the traditional Korean bojaji which is a colourful wrapping cloth with the sculpture ‘Spring’ designed by Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen erected. The area is designated to be a vehicle-free zone on holidays to provide more leisure space for people. A series of waterfall along the stream also provided comfortable resting spots for pedestrians to gather around. The plaza itself is politically significant as well in providing spaces for protests. One of the protests happened recently was the protest against the slow investigation process of Sewol ferry sinking incident.
Protest at Cheonggye Plaza, 2014 (Yoon, 2014)
It is also worth noticing that the lighting along the stream has been carefully designed to match the landscape and night activities. The spacing between the lights is designed to allow sufficient ambient illumination for safety and security but at the same time reduce disturbance to the aquatic species in the stream and pedestrians that occupy the space nearby. It creates a welcoming night scene at Cheonggyecheon with various carnivals and performances occurring during different time of the year. Cheonggyecheon has thus become a popular gathering and recreation place.
1. Jang, S. N. 2009. Heritage Authenicity and Monumentalization for Political Power – A Case Study of the Cheonggyecheon restoration Project in Seoul, Korea. Accessed on 21 December 2015 from http://www.thapra.lib.su.ac.th/objects/thesis/fulltext/thapra/Jang%20Suh_Noh/Fulltext.pdf
2. Rowe, Peter G. 2011. Emergent architectural territories in East Asian cities. Basel: Birkhäuser.
Yoon, M-s. 2014. “Teachers protest ferry disaster response” on The Korea Herald. Accessed on 21 December 2015 from http://www.koreaherald.com/view.php?ud=20140518000247