West Seoul Lake Park (서서울 호수공원), Urban rebirth!

A surprising reconversion of an old water purification plant into an unconventional family park, open cultural art space and activities field for all ages. Don’t miss the Mondrian Garden, the Water Playground and the Sound Fountain

100-diner-dining table West Seoul Lake Park 서서울 호수공원

Alike Seonyeuido Park, West Seoul Lake Park was born from a successful and well-thought urban project to revitalize the area. On this same location, the Sinwol Water Purification Plant provided a daily average of 120,000 tons of water supply from 1959 until it closed in 2003. The project was carried out until 2009 when the eco-friendly park officially opened to the public.

Comparable in size to Yeouido Park or Yangjae Citizens Forest, West Seoul Lake Park is a rather unique creation as its designers focused on reusing some of the original industrial features and incorporating water and recycling as key themes. The result is very original, fun and provides great diversity among its different facilities.

West Seoul Lake Park Highlights

  • Sound Fountain: within the Central Lake, it serves both an aesthetic and utilitarian purpose as a noise protection. Aircrafts often fly at low level upon departing or approaching the nearby Gimpo airport runway. In which case, 41 water spouts activate automatically whenever the noise exceeds 81db. Around the lake, a walking path and the culture deck plaza let you marvel of this ingenious fountain.
  • Children’s Water Playground: In July and August, the water playground operates from 12 noon to 5 pm in 30-minute intervals. Circular sculptures get animated from water spouts and trickles for the joy of all children!
  • 100-person dining table: you cannot miss it when you will see it 🙂
  • Children cubic playground
  • Sport facilities including exercising machines, walking trail – you can also watch amateurs games at the neighboring baseball field.

Mondrian Garden: the best for the end

Here, designers and urbanists have deliberately chosen to reuse and recycle as much as possible from the former water plant. This combines modern art, nature and architecture on 2 levels in a thoughtful integration of water streams, lush vegetation and old concrete panels. A Media Wall fountain provides super-sized 3x40m arty videos on the background. Inspired by Piet Mondrian’s horizontal and vertical lines aesthetics, this area aims to evoke harmony and beauty, which definitely worked on us…

Should you want to go beyond this humble introduction, check the awesome pictures of this inspiring architectural park on the blog from photographer Kim JongOh (korean only, but beautiful pictures don’t need translation, do they?). The urban project itself is described on ASLA website. General information is available on Visit Seoul link.

Admission: Free

Opening hours: 24/7, all year round

How to get there: Sinjeong Station (Subway Line 5) Exit 1. Take Bus 6625, and get off at Seoseoul lake park (Seoseoul-hosu-gongwon) stop.

Attention: if you use your own car, parking facilities are very limited, about 60 cars only. Parking fees: 100 won per 10 min.

Directions: Seoul Map for Kids & Families

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