Spanning 160,000 square meters of space across six basement floors, the Yeongdong-daero transit terminal in South Korea is to be the single largest multifunctional underground complex to be built in the country. Unveiled earlier this week, the Seoul Metropolitan Government is planning to build an underground public transit terminal in order to alleviate road traffic in Seoul’s most congested area.
The $1.15 billion project, hoping to be completed by 2023, will be led by the French architect Dominique Perrault. His firm was selected in an international competition for their plan's complex design, compatibility to nearby districts, and ability to digest massive traffic, according to city officials.
Dubbed "Light Walk," the new major integrated public transportation station will span between the two main roads of the Gangnam district, Bongeunsaro and Teheranro, linking the two axis and acting as an orientation mark from all sides. A green network will weave all streets and plots together to create a cohesion of Seoul's International District. A continuous tree canopy for pedestrians will bring a renewed urban quality and the addition of a major park, the Green Land—Gangnam’s response to New York’s central park or London’s Hyde—will act as a new landmark for Seoul's habitants.
Underneath, the transit center and related spaces will boast all kind of activities of 21st century city such as co-working spaces, fabrication labs, art studios, galleries, workshops, and all new technologies facilities. Passengers will be lead underground to the station by the Light beam, fully lit by natural light on all sides, through a series of sunken gardens and sunlight pipes.
Interior programs are articulated around the groundscape park spanning all along the project and will connect Seoul Grand Station with an underground park, central event space, and the Great Hall. On the upper two levels of the complex, there will be an exhibition hall, a museum, a library and a shopping mall. The levels from the third underground floor down will be used as bus, subway, train transit and transfer centers and parking lots for tour buses.
The city expects at least 600,000 transit passengers will visit the underground terminal every day with over 180,000 expected to take buses.
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