A groundbreaking ceremony has been held in Daejeon for the new research and development hub of Hankook Tire. The Hankook Technodome is part of a two-stage growth plan by the tyre manufacturer which also includes a Test Engineering Center in Sangju, due to complete in 2018.
Seung Hwa Suh, Vice Chairman and CEO of Hankook Tire, explains: “The Hankook Technodome has been designed to reflect our confidence in R&D and will be a meaningful milestone in Hankook Tire’s history. In addition, combined with our proactive corporate culture, the high-tech R&D facility will provide a great foundation for us to realise a management structure based on quality and progressive leadership.”
The research and development facility has been designed by Foster + Partners and boasts 96,328 sq m of floor space. A smooth oval roofscape is punctured by large expanses of glazing, flooding the active space below with natural light. This daylight illuminates a central spine which runs from the restaurant in the south to accommodation units for staff towards the north.
Parallel office and industrial units are organised in five ‘fingers’ with the voids between the projections drawing in even more daylight. This arrangement enables visual connections between different divisions, including 90 separate laboratories. Meeting rooms are found in glazed oval pods suspended above the atrium, bathed in natural light.
The design targets LEED Gold Certification and incorporates a number of sustainable measures. This includes waste heat from the R&D centre being used to heat the residential accommodation and a lake at the southern entrance that harvests rainwater for use in cooling. A healthcare centre, fitness centre and multimedia room have also been included to enhance employee welfare and a healthy work-life balance.