Architects: DeStefano Partners
Location: Haeundae, Busan, South Korea
Project Year: 2011
From the architect. Otherwise known as Doosan Haeundae U-Dong (or “We’ve the Zenith”), the Zenith complex is a residential condominium development in the Haeundae region of Busan, South Korea. The complex was designed by DeStefano Partners of Chicago, Illinois and is slated for substantial completion in November of 2011 and full occupancy in the summer of 2012. More images and architect's description after the break.
Three high-rise towers, 70, 75 and 80 stories in height, comprise the residential portion of the development, with an adjacent retail component by others. The towers are located on the site to maximize the views from the 1,800 deluxe condominium units and to enhance both the individual units and the landscaped property. Total above grade building area is 388,000 sq meters (4,180,702 sf) and below grade floor area is 184,000 sq meters (1,980,559 sf). Parking for approximately 4,500 cars is provided on five below grade levels, along with the central plant and other building services. The roof level of each tower accommodates a helipad.
Sculptural in form and curvilinear in plan, the towers are inspired by the natural beauty and undulating waves of the surrounding ocean. The curvilinear glass forms give the tall towers a soft appearance, a counterpoint to neighboring rectilinear structures. To prevent the tall towers from overpowering their neighbors, the design steps back the forms in a variety of ways. This design approach opens up the skyline, provides a pleasant composition and allows more light to enter the site while casting fewer shadows on adjacent properties. In combination with the undulating screen walls at the top of the buildings, the setbacks emphasize the buildings’ wavelike curves and reinforce the relationship of the sculptural forms to the ocean environment.
The building exteriors are a textured composition of glass and metal that blend the functional needs of natural ventilation and air condition into a pleasing whole that does not distract from the simple elegance of the towers. Comprised of a unitized curtain wall system, the exterior wall is of the highest quality available. The smooth glass skin of the towers with its stainless steel accents will glisten and sparkle, creating a dynamic image on the skyline and providing an ever changing appearance as the sun moves across the sky. The entry to each tower, while grand, is not overpowering. The piloti at the base of the building opens up the building to the gardens and reduces the impact of the soaring towers on the landscape. These features imbue the site with a human scale and afford opportunities for more sheltered, private spaces. A composition of strong Korean granite, a diaphanous glass wall and a frosted glass canopy create lobby and amenity spaces that are visually connected to the luxurious landscape surrounding the towers. The smooth, undulating stone wall is reminiscent of the coastline worn smooth by waves over time.
To reinforce the development’s identity as a world-class address, sensitively landscaped public spaces surround the buildings, providing a relaxing environment for residents and creating open vistas to enhance views from the units. An oval promenade defines an active central plaza for outdoor activities and links the buildings at the second floor. The promenade’s design reflects the development’s overall design concepts by incorporating curved shapes in both plan and section. The architectural systems for the reinforced concrete buildings will consist of high-quality materials and finishes to support the standards of a first-class residential and commercial complex. All performance criteria for the building envelope, structural loading, thermal and water resistance, acoustical separation and all life safety systems meet or exceed both local and international standards.