LocationSeoul, South Korea
Text description provided by the architects. Creating a building with a distinct identity was the primary aim for the project. This decision was underlined by the need to mediate between two distinctly different urban conditions: Whilst the historic neighbourhood features a small- scale architectural hierarchy with an inherent urban quality, the masterplan is clearly inspired by visions of the early modern movement, where solitary buildings define urbanity by forming a city of objects.
Open to all sides, the ground level leads straight into the heart of the building. The atrium is not only the central arrival zone, but also the main event space for art installations, concerts, lectures and other cultural activities – all framed by a variety of public facilities such as a museum, a library, a tea room and retail. On the upper atrium levels, the corporate presence is more perceptible.
The main attraction here is the auditorium, an amphitheatre facing the park that can be adjusted in size, acoustic performance and ambience by deploying large curtains. Other functions on this floor include the AP daycare centre, the test customer area, public restaurants and a large conference centre. The courtyard level above the atrium is the social and atmospheric hub of the company’s workplace, providing various corporate amenities such as staff restaurants, cafés, fitness and health facilities.
The upper floors are primarily devoted to office use. Vertical circulation is arranged in a decentralised fashion via four cores, providing high user flexibility for various layout options. The roof gardens, vital for recreational well-being, are visible from all floors. As panoramic openings, they merge the functional horizontal layering from public to private with the overall concept of connectivity.
The materiality also reflects the integral design approach that is driven by a quest for authenticity, transparency, meaning and clarity. To achieve this, the palette has been reduced to materials of high quality that are enduring and age with character. Nature permeates the building right up to the roof gardens, where large trees express their sculptural quality complemented by amorphous water basins.
The building is LEED Gold certified. The assessment is based on a number of green design and construction criteria that positively impact the construction process, the well-being of the users and the broader community. The façade inherently represents the overall architectural approach.
Connecting interior and exterior, it protects and shields as much as it reveals. It balances daylight, solar radiation and views, making a decisive contribution to the quality of the interiors. These considerations define the façade design, which is based on two façade layers working in unison.