- Principal Architect: Kyu Sung Woo
- Project Architects: Vital Albuquerque, Kyoung Eun Kwon
- Designers: Motomu Nakasugi, Dong Eun Jeong, Jisoo Yang
- Client: KAIST
- City: Daejeon
- Country: South Korea
Text description provided by the architects. Located in a suburb of Daejeon, Korea, the campus is comprised of buildings scattered throughout a lush setting of tree groves and fields. Selected from an open design competition, the scheme places the new 26,000sm building on the northern edge of a green lawn running parallel with the East Gate axis. The design brings together the fields of Computer Science and Electronic and Electrical Engineers. Rectangular boxes are stacked nine stories high and arranged around a central core of large multi-level, indoor and outdoor social spaces that enhance cross-discipline communication between both students and professors.
The building’s upper six stories contain the labs and research offices, with the Computer Science department on the west side and the Electronic and Electrical Engineers on the east side of each floor.. The perimeter rooms have been arranged to accommodate abundant, yet appropriate, daylight; with laboratories on the north side and offices on the south. The first two floors house administrative offices and all the public spaces; including classrooms, lecture hall and a multi-purpose international conference hall. Spaces are composed along a central spine of service cores and lounges for maximum efficiency, as well as social connections. There are three large atriums within the central spine that are focal points of the building community. Each department has their own 3-story lounge space, one on the west end for Computer Science and one on the east end for Electronics Department. Both lounge spaces have access to outside terraces and are designed as interior extensions of these outdoor spaces through the use of glass and similar finish materials. The central 9-story high glass atrium brings everyone together. It begins at the main lobby and runs the entire height of the building to a glass roof above, providing plenty of daylight. The atrium contains the public elevators within it and is surrounded by corridors and student lounges; making it a significant visual, physical and symbolic connection between all the levels.
The influx of daylight is an important principle in the spatial organization of the building. Numerous recesses in the overall massing express the interior space while allowing light to penetrate deep into the building and provide a direct connection to the exterior in the form of green roof terraces. Spatial connections, natural light and economy of materials are a design priority. The building is a concrete structure and many of the surfaces within the building are exposed concrete. Smooth, painted drywall is used sporadically as if a precious finish layer over the contrasting rough concrete. The interior corridor partitions are all glass in order to extend the visual communication between spaces.
The exterior of the building also uses few material types; it is clad in a combination of solid and perforated aluminum panels, glass and extruded cement panels. A metal parallel louver system is applied to the south façade which is designed to shade the research offices from harsh summer sun, while allowing maximum sun light in the winter months. Bamboo planting throughout the site landscape gradually ascends onto the fourth floor roof garden and up to the various decks and interior lounge spaces. The north elevation uses colored two story operable panels that scale down the large façade and provide a smooth, yet lively, background to the north garden.
The East Gate Lawn of the front quad is complimented by a more private, walled garden in the back of the building, on the roof of the open-air parking garage. This backyard provides private outdoor patios for the conference hall and cafe, as well as a connection from the fitness center to existing tennis courts. Large surrounding trees isolate the garden from outside environments, while seating and walking paths create a quite setting for contemplation and social interaction.