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Dancing Dragons, Seoul, South Korea

Friday 11 May 2012

Year of the Dragon

All images: Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture 
Your comments on this project

No. of Comments: 7

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17/05/12 Iva, Syndney
The form is modern, however not impressed by it's very snake like scales appearance. However the Asian culture loves it, the Snake look, sorry the
the Dragon style, exterior finish-pattern.
16/05/12 Sy. Auerbach, Chevy Chase, MD
That's the fourth or fifth time you declined to run my comment. Typical of prejudicial journalism.

what with the outrageous tormented designs of the Gherryesque tribe, one undersatnds where you are coming from. STOP FILTERING THE NEWS AND COMMENTS YOU REQUEST. READ YOUR OWN NOTICE THAT IT WILL BE RUN VERY SHORTLY !


p.s. I did give my name ! ! ! READ IT !
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16/05/12 Sy Auerbach, F.A.I.A, CHEVY CHASE, MD
Almost as gaudy as Gherry. What happened to the old adage under which I was educated? Difference for Difference sake" is not the attitude for good architecture. Leave the dragon skin for the dragons!
16/05/12 mike wee, singapore
it's not easy to create iconic design, it's really hard to please, but considering the towering heights it missed the wow
15/05/12 Disgusted, LA
Really, ...informed by aspects of traditional Korean Culture????? "...These recall the eaves of traditional Korean temples - a design theme echoed in both the geometry of the building skin and the jutting canopies of the towers' base. The theme is extended to the building skin, which suggests the scales of Korean mythical dragons..." Why can't these guys just be comfortable in their own skins and call a spade a spade??? This kind of frivolous justifications are severe post rationalizations that neither pay respect to the Culture of place nor reinforce the rootedness of the design to the Culture of place. Surely one should understand cultural signifiers in historical architecture are not "themes" to be copied and pasted at will but rather a language system fully able to communicate the meaning of place in time!! This only serves to reinforce the lack in rigor and criticality in the culture of the AS GG office!
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15/05/12 ray warner, ew york city
Come on! It appears to be a beautiful design but don't try to tell me that it recalls historic vernacular architecture or mythical creatures. Maybe you can name it after dragons but I would be hard pressed to believe that the designer looked at dragon scales and said "my building should look like that".
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12/05/12 Jason, Seoul
What a waste of money.


AS+GG unveils design for supertall mixed use towers for Seoul, South Korea 

The Chicago-based design firm, Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill, unveiled today its design for Dancing Dragons, a pair of supertall mixed-used towers for the new Yongsan International Business District in Seoul, South Korea. The buildings, which include a mix of residential, ‘officetel', and retail uses, consist of slender, sharply angled mini-towers cantilevered around a central core. This design, as described in a press release, is 'contemporary yet informed by aspects of traditional Korean culture'.

A series of dramatic massing cuts in the towers create living spaces that float beyond the structure. These recall the eaves of traditional Korean temples - a design theme echoed in both the geometry of the building skin and the jutting canopies of the towers' base. The theme is extended to the building skin, which suggests the scales of Korean mythical dragons that seem to dance around the core - hence the project's name. (Yongsan, the name of overall development means 'Dragon Hill' in Korean.) The towers scale - like skin is also, performative, in that the gaps between its overlapping panels function to ventilate and cool the building.

Towers 1 and 2, which are 450m and 390m respectively, share an architectural language but are not identical. In the taller structure, the 88-storey Tower 1, the massing cuts at the top and bottom of the tower are V-shaped. In the 77-storey Tower 2, these cuts move diagonally in a single unbroken line; they are also arranged in a radical pattern around the core that is perceptible as viewers move around the tower.

"There is a sympathetic and complimentary relationship between the two masses at the level of the cuts, almost as though they were dancing," says Adrian Smith, FAIA, RIBA. "It's always important for our designs to reflect and interpret the cultures they serve, and the Dancing Dragons complex certainly does that, although in an abstract and highly technological manner."

Dancing Dragons is AS+GG's second major project in downtown Seoul, the other being the Head Office of the Federation of Korean Industries, a highly sustainable office building scheduled to be completed next year. The design team for the project also includes Positve Energy Practice, a Chicago-based engineering and energy consulting firm, and Werner Sobek, a structural engineering firm, which in collaboration with AS +GG, developed the structural scheme for the building.

Sharon McHugh
US Correspondent

Key Facts

Status Concept design
Value 0(m€)
Were you involved in this scheme?
WAN Editorial

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