Bridge has a ‘watery’ debutThe afternoon’s drenching rain didn’t stop the long-awaited opening ceremony for the Aqua-Art Bridge in Seocho-dong, southern Seoul, on Monday night.
Initiated in 2000, the Aqua-Art Bridge was designed by French architect David-Pierre Jalicon and built by Hyundai ENC and the Seoul Arts Center. It is part of a new development plan for the verdant Mount Womyeon area near Seoul Arts Center and promises to become a new landmark in the capital.
At sundown on Monday, well protected under overlapping umbrellas at the foot of the bridge were Seocho District Mayor Cho Nam-ho, Grand National Party Deputy Floor Leader Lee Hye-hoon, French Ambassador to Korea Francois Descoueyte, and Mr. Jalicon. With the push of large red buttons, they declared the official opening of the Aqua-Art Bridge.
The countdown set off a moving image projected on a circular glass panel over which cascaded a blue waterfall at the foot of the mountain. A spectacular fireworks display over the Gangnam district followed. Projected on the screen was the image of geomancy elements, such as fire and water, created by the architect.
The event temporarily stopped nearby traffic, both automobile and pedestrian, as fireworks embroidered the night sky over the brightly lighted footbridge covered by a glass projection screen with water rushing down the sides.
“Beautiful! Spectacular!” exclaimed the French ambassador. “We now have a lot of water here, including the rain today. This is a great feng shui for the city, which has a lot of fire and metal.”
The ceremony was abbreviated because of the rain, but Hyundai Construction president Lee Ji-song and Military Mutual Fund Association president Kim Seung-kwang joined in a tape-cutting ceremony at the foot of the bridge.
Mr. Jalicon received a Plaque of Appreciation from the mayor of Seocho for “creating a new symbol for Seocho district by harmonizing the esthetics of French architecture and traditional Korean footbridges, having taken the level of Korean bridge culture one step higher.”
After the ceremony, the architect told the JoongAng Daily that the opening was “a very emotional moment because everyone was satisfied. Not just officials but even ordinary citizens came up and congratulated me in Korean and English.”
Mr. Jalicon is currently working on another bridge project in Seocho district.
by Ines Cho
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