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Kohn Pedersen Fox unveils angular Seoul tower plan

US design firm reveals bold concept for 340 hectare Yongsan waterfront

The facade transitions from stone slab at the base to textured metal surfaces at the top as the program shifts from hotel to residential use.
The facade transitions from stone slab at the base to textured metal surfaces at the top as the program shifts from hotel to residential use.

Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates (KPF) have released their design proposal for Block H of the Yongsan International Business District (YIBD) in Seoul, a 385m tower on the northeastern tip of the YIBD.

Situated on a 14,600 square meter parcel of land, the Y-shaped tower achieves a floor area ratio of 11.4%, delivering a luxury 5-star hotel, and 167,225 square metres of high-end serviced residential space.

“Our goal for this project is to establish and make connections to street life, the new city of Yongsan, and to the larger context of Seoul. We do this through a thoughtful approach to the program, position, and character of the building,” said Trent Tesch, KPF Design Principal.


The KPF structure lies next to the 620m Arup-designed Landmark Tower, the teetering centre piece of a 340-hectare development spread along the Han riverside of the South Korean capital.

“Seoul is one of the leading innovative Architectural Arenas in Asia, and we are proud to design the hospitality component of it. We hope that it will successfully bridge the high speed rail network with the commercial components to invigorate the master plan, said Richard Nemeth,” KPF Managing Principal.

The desire is not to create a composition of tower and podium, but rather to create a tower that emerges or grows organically out of the podium, treated as one singular form, with a language of terraces and set-back forms that grow upwards and outwards towards light and views.

The buildings three distinct wings rise asymmetrically, oriented to face the Han River to the south (low-wing), the Yongsan Park to the east (mid-wing), and the Nam-San historic district and adjacent landmark tower to the north (high-wing).

The solid elements on the façade transition from stone slab at the base of the building to textured metal surfaces at the top of the building where the program shifts from hotel to residential.

The tower also contains casino, retail, and spa facilities in the basement, as well as a large banquet hall and further other amenities for the hotel in the podium proposed by the design team.

YIBD is a dynamic urban environment master planned created by Studio Daniel Libeskind, designed to maximise the natural potential of the site and its surrounding urban assets.


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Construction Week - Issue 724
Jan 12, 2019