Prof. Kyungjin Zoh

Department of Landscape Architecture,Graduate School of Environmental Studies,Seoul National University



Seoul Botanin Park, Inventing New Type of Sustainable Park






Seoul Botanic Park was opened in October, 2018 as the test run. It will be opened in May, 2019 officially. It is located in Magok, Gangseo-gu, Seoul. Magok district is the last spot for the large scale R&D development in Seoul. It has been developed as the hub of advanced convergence and fusion technology R&D cluster.


I have worked in preparing this park as master planner since 2013. As a master planner, I have coordinated all planning and design decisions concerning Seoul Botanic Park. I invented the new urban park type incorporating urban park into botanic garden. Here, I am going to talk about the story of SBP(Seoul Botanic Park) and several sustainable strategies.


The location of the park is quite good. SBP is directly connected with the Magoknaru subway station to allow visitors to easily access it facilities. SBP is divided into four zones such as open field, lake, display garden, and wetland garden. The conservatory is divided into the two themed zones such as the Tropical and the Mediterranean representing 12 cities around the world. There are other facilities such as library, lecture and exhibition hall, café, office in Botanic Culture Center including the conservatory.


There are several sustainable strategies in building and managing SBP. First is the water management system. In planning SBP, multi layered water use has been stressed. In the park, there are lake, stream, and wetland. Therefore, the efficient supply of water is needed. Fortunately, various ways of water sources such as river and water purification facility and the subway spill water. Sustainable water circulation system has been established. Han river provides 33% of the whole amount of water and lake water (30%), purified water from the wasted one (21%), city water (15%) and rain water, etc. Dispersed water source system made the efficient SBP water management possible


In terms of conservatory architecture, the U shape structure is peculiar contrast to the common greenhouse. The typical shape is the round one in its form. In the case of SBP, the U shape structure was adopted due to several reasons. The U shaped form is suitable for collecting the rainwater, allocating the viewing deck, and saving the heating and cooling for indoor air. Up to now, the unique form of greenhouse is working well despite several minor weaknesses.    


Lastly, the sustainable management of SBP is a critical issue because the cost for operating budgets is very high compared with the ordinary urban park. Volunteer is indispensable for the sustainable operation. There are various dimensions in volunteer of SBP such as plant education, tour program, gardening and visitor information. On the other hand, building trust with local school, NGO, residents might be the efficient way of maximizing the sustainable management of the park. SBP has increased the networking with various local groups up to now. On the other hand, VR and AR technology will be introduced for visitors to experience the plant culture in a dramatic ways for the opening. By adopting VR/AR technology, people can expand the geographical imagination in walking through 12 cities within the conservatory. The technology is a very effective method to realize the original concept of botanic journey.