International architecture firm Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates (KPF) presented its design for Block H of the Yongsan International Business District (YIBD) in Seoul. The goal of YIBD is to create a new symbol for the 21st Century city; a new urban center in Seoul for international business, living, entertainment, and shopping.
Scheduled for completion in 2016, Block H consists of a luxury 5-Star hotel and high-end serviced residential building containing 167,225 square meters of space. The 385-meter-tall tower sits on a 14,600-square-meter parcel of land on the northeastern border of the YIBD, achieving an FAR of 11.4%. KPF’s building is situated in a way that seeks to mediate the extreme height (665m) of the landmark office tower to the northwest, and transition this height to the lower scale of the residential blocks beyond. KPF sought to intensify the social aspect of the street through a distinct urban landscape and diverse program at the lower levels of the building.
KPF’s tower contains casino, retail, and spa functions in the basement, and the firm proposed a podium building to accommodate a large banquet hall and other amenities for the hotel. The desire, however, is not to create a composition of tower and podium, but rather to create a tower that emerges or grows out of the podium like the organic growth of a crystal. The tower and podium are treated as one singular form, with a language of terraces and set-back forms that grow upwards and outwards towards light and views. +