Since its inception in 1971, the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) has operated through multiple venues, reducing the potential for communication between disciplines. Thanks to Kyu Sung Woo Architects, the institution is now able to bring its fields of Computer Sciences, and Electronics and Electrical Engineering together under one roof, in a single 26,000 sq m interdisciplinary home.
The IT Convergence Building in Daegeon, South Korea is saturated in differing shades of grey, from the extruded cement, and solid and perforated aluminium panels that coat its exterior to the exposed concrete interiors. Wide expanses of glass are also used throughout to aid visibility and break down any barriers between different disciplines.
Internally, the building centres on a large 9-storey atrium which travels up through all floors, culminating at a wide glass skylight at the top. Public lifts can be found within this space and corridors and student lounges branch off from its core, enhancing physical and visual connections.
At both ends of the new volume three lounges can be found, one for each individual department. From these lounges users can access outdoor terraces for social meetings or relaxation. Additional open-air space can be found via green roof terraces or a green quad at the East Gate entrance. The parking garage is also open to the elements on the roof.
The research labs are fully transparent as are the faculty offices, all of which are located around a central spine of services and social spaces. This is contrasted with the painted drywall and raw concrete found elsewhere in the building, adding a dynamic edge to the new form.