The Seoul Botanic Park is located in western Seoul in Gangseo-gu district. Just ten minutes away from Gimpo Airport and 40 minutes away from Incheon International Airport, it is the newest green attraction in the city. The entire park encompasses a greenhouse (Botanic Centre), garden, lake, and forest that can be enjoyed in one space. While typical greenhouse structures are convex shaped, this particular greenhouse stands apart. The rotunda architecture is topped off with a concave roof instead of an outward protruding dome. Also, the surrounding walls consist of glass while the ceiling is made up of ETFE (ethylene tetrafluoroethylene) panels. The fluorine-based plastic allows the structure to be transparent, light weight, flexible, cost-effect, and easier to maintain than when using glass. Thus, the panels were shaped into singular plant cells; when combined, they create a floral-shaped greenhouse.

The Botanic Centre’s lighting design concept was ‘Daydreaming in a Garden,’ a botanical garden of light that blooms when darkness falls. The distinct ETFE panels come to life at night with its dynamic portrayal of different lights. Different scenes were created with various colours and patterns that reflect the natural appearance of the passing seasons and the changes in the sky that appear during the day and night.

Linear RGB lights are located inside the architecture instead of on the outer structure of the greenhouse. The 188 ETFE cells can be individually represented in colour and motion through the grouping and controlling of five to six lighting fixtures as a set. A variety of images projecting the night sky through a recessed roof surface, forms an identity of the botanical park at night. The ETFE panels came with some difficulties when it came to consistent lighting.  ETFE material allows for the rounding and shaping of the panels, but it also led to different surfaces on each panel. Therefore, even when lighting up the panels, each group of fixtures had their own different RGB channel number from 0 to 256 input to visually portray a single solid colour. The use of flood lights installed on the exterior frame, allow for subtle ambient lighting of the greenhouse structure. The upward lights highlight and amplify the circular shape of the architecture that holds the whole night sky within its arching frames.


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