Facelift for Yonsei University Campus

Yonsei Campus Construction

The most renowned universities in Korea are Seoul National University, Korea University and Yonsei University, often summarized as “SKY”. They are always at the maximum of their capacity for students. Therefore, they build more facilities or establish new campuses to host more students. In my two years at SNU I saw the construction and opening of five new buildings. A very famous example of campus improvement in Korea is the campus valley of Ewha University, designed by Dominique Perrault. Yonsei also tries to improve their campus. If you visit the Yonsei University campus now, you will see a huge construction site.


Yonsei University Campus Project

The main road, which is now getting a makeover, is called “Baekyang-ro”. The Baekyang-ro Reconstruction project (백양로 재창조 프로젝트) begun in mid-2013 after a year of planning and preparation. The completion of the project is expected to be in April 2015. The project includes a total make-over of that main road, new facilities like a culture hall and an underground parking garage. Over one thousand parking spaces are going to be created. The project costs Yonsei 90 billion KRW. I’ll focus on the changes concerning the road. For pictures of the cultural hall and so on please click here.

That’s how the Yonsei Campus looked like before:

In 2012 I’ve made these two pictures of the Baekyang-ro:
Old Yonsei University Campus

The picture above looks north from the main gate and the next picture is from the other end of the road, this time looking south.
Old Yonsei University Campus

As you can see, there as a very wide (around 3 car lanes wide), straight road from the main gate up to the Underwood Hall (the three historic buildings of Yonsei U). The road then split into two and the eastern street led out of the campus. The distance from the main gate to the Underwood Hall is around 500 meters. Here’s their plan:

So actually comparing the before and after-picture, there isn’t a huge difference. A little bit more green space, less street and a new main entrance. The real changes are under the surface. The next picture shows a vertical cut through the plan:

The first and second flood beneath ground is planned to have various facilities and already a part of the parking garage.

B3 and B4 will only function as parking space:

The two floors beneath are just for parking cars. 1,040 parking spaces will be provided in total. Digging so deep makes the project expensive. Later maintenance of the underground facilities will cost a lot of money, too.


Situation at Yonsei University in Summer 2014

Some days ago I’ve been to Yonsei and took some pictures. The main gate currently looks like this:

Yonsei University Front Gate

Students and visitors have to walk between construction site fences.

Yonsei University Construction

Sometimes it’s possible to take a peek into the construction site:

Yonsei University Campus

Yonsei University Construction

Yonsei University Construction

From the other end it looks like this:

Yonsei University Construction

You can see more pictures on the official homepage. They also show historic pictures, which are really nice and a promotional video:

At the end it also emphasizes that it is a car-free street, but actually you can see a car passing by. Just letting cars ‘disappear’ from the surface doesn’t make it to a car-free project. Another video with interviews is available here. I’m not sure what to think about this project. I don’t know how bad the parking situation was before but is there really a need for 1,000+ parking spaces? In front of the university the city implemented a measure to reduce the amount of cars and Yonsei is going to induce more traffic through the provision of parking spaces.

About This Author

<p>Co-Author of Kojects. Interested in Sustainable Transportation, Urbanism and Korea.</p>


You can post comments in this post.

  • The UIC (Underwood International College) Building is actually located at the top of the hill at New Millennium Hall. I guess you are referring to the Underwood Hall building not “Underwood College”.)

    xjoshuax89 3 years ago Reply

    • Oh OK! Thanks for the information. I’ll correct the mistake :)

      Nikola 3 years ago Reply

  • […] Yonsei-ro was launched as Seoul’s first transit mall […]

    Next Stop: 2015 | Kojects 3 years ago Reply

Post A Reply