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Eco-Geo Park, Suncheon, South Korea


Central Park, World Garden Expo

Completed  2013

Landscape Architect

Lily Jencks & Charles Jencks (JencksSquared)






Designed by:

Photography © Kim Tae Su

Mountains and water are at the heart of Suncheon Eco-city, Korea, are also  at the heart of our design for the central garden and lake for the World Garden Expo, 2013 in Suncheon, South Korea. We have used the city of Suncheon, surrounded by mountains and wetlands, as our model to describe the close relationships of man and nature, that should be celebrated at  Garden Expo. 


Photography © Kim Tae Su

Photography © Kim Tae Su

Geological and ecological processes over thousands of years, have created a unique urban wetland in Suncheon. It is the 5th largest tidal flat-land in the world, and provides valuable rare habitat for many local and migratory birds and mammals, reflected in its Ramsar rating. The city of Suncheon is growing towards the wetlands in the south, and so the city decided to locate the World Garden expo in this interstitial space to create a buffer zone between the expanding urbanity and delicate wetland. Also very visible in urban development in Korea is the clear distinction between urban development in the flat valley areas, and undeveloped mountain slopes. As a country which is 70% mountains, the mountains are continuously seen as protected forested zones. We wanted to celebrate these sacred mountains, and valuable wetlands, and the developed urbanity around them.  The  City/Wetland,  Urban/Mountains are dualities that we have made into a theme - Holding the Eco-Line, to protect the wild mountains and the precious wetlands.

Our lake design, bridge, mounds and sculpture iconography reinterpret traditional Korean garden techniques: recreating the macrocosm of the city in a microcosm of the garden, and ‘borrowing the view’ of the distant landscape. We have created a kind of Bonsai garden--reflecting the surrounding mountains and pulling the distant landscape into the garden. 

Photography © Kim Tae Su

The mounds of the Eco-Line garden bring the distant mountains into the garden, reflecting their shapes and creating a rhythm of near and far. 

The bridge design is a reflection of the Don Chung river that flows through Suncheon from the mountains to the bay, finally through the wetlands. The wetlands life-giving environments and explosion of species is represented in the bloom of colours and flowers that explodes up the hill at the end of the river bridge. 

Photography © Kim Tae Su

The top of each mound has an art installation to encourage people to walk to the top and experience a different view over the landscape surrounding them. The top of the spiral mound has a series of panels that reflect on the surrounding mountainous landscape, allowing the visitor to walk the view with their eyes, through a series of collages that connect real mountain, and represented mountains, from many different but simultaneous views. 

Photography © Kim Tae Su

Photography © Kim Tae Su

JencksSquared Team:Charles Jencks, Lily Jencks, Megan Burke, Maria Buentempo

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