Putting the soul back into Seoul

Niki May Young
Wednesday 20 Aug 2008

5 big names compete for $28 billion design

Five major architects have been shortlisted to redesign the business hub of South Korea’s capital city. Asymptote (with Hargreaves Associates), Foster + Partners, Jerde Partnership, Skidmore Owings and Merrill and Studio Daniel Libeskind have been given US$1m to submit designs to the Yongsan Development Co. for the US$27bn rejuvenation of the Yongsan international business district.

Following a three year war which ended in 1953, South Korea was rebuilt hastily and formed with little architectural thought. Near the banks of the Han River, the district, known as the “Dream Hub”, will cover 140 acres and transform the city into a more hospitable and architecturally interesting hotspot for business particularly aimed at being friendly to Western business.

Samsung C&T corporation are a major investor in the development - their Business Development Team Vice President, Gyeongtaek Lee, has no qualms over the viability of the project. He said: “Such an achievement is attributable to the fact that this is a low risk project with both financial and strategic investors balancing the consortium.” He added, “We plan to create a global business town starting with a spectacular landmark skyscraper and 12 commercial buildings.”

The 12 commercial buildings are expected to rise between 20-70 floors and a further 7 residential/commercial buildings will rise between 20-50 stories. The proposed date of construction is 2011.

Niki May Young
News Editor

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