Lotte World Tower in Seoul, South Korea, designed by Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates, is now the fifth tallest building in the world, having completed according to criteria established by the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH). The 555m building is now the tallest in the country, 250m taller than the previous record-holder, Northeast Asia Trade Tower (305m), and nearly double the height of Seoul’s former tallest, Three International Financial Center (284m).
The completion of Lotte World Tower has pushed Kuala Lumpur’s 452m Petronas Twin Towers, once the world’s tallest buildings, out of the Top 10 list for the first time since they completed in 1998. The Petronas Towers were among the Top 10 Tallest Buildings for 19 years and were beaten out as the world’s tallest by the 508m TAIPEI 101, which itself was overtaken in 2010 by the current title-holder, the 828m Burj Khalifa.
Taking inspiration from traditional Korean art forms in the design of the various interior program spaces, the sleek tapered form of Lotte World Tower will stand out from Seoul’s rocky, mountainous topography. According to the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat the tower is programmed with a greater variety of functions than is normally found in a tall building. It contains retail components, offices, a seven-star luxury hotel, and an officetel. Officetels, common in South Korean real estate, offer studio-apartment-style accommodations for people who work in the building and often feature certain services found in hotels, such as furnishings, a security desk, and gym access. The building’s top 10 storeys are earmarked for extensive public use and entertainment facilities, including an observation deck and rooftop café.
The design of the tower melds a modern aesthetic with forms inspired by Korean ceramics, porcelain, and calligraphy. The seam that runs from top to bottom of the structure gestures toward the old centre of the city. Elegance of form was one of the prime objectives, following the desire of stakeholders to bestow a beautiful monument to the capital city skyline. Exterior materials will be light-toned silver glass accented by a filigree of white lacquered metal.
Lotte World Tower has been designed and constructed at the same time as a 10-storey base that accommodates as much area as its vertical counterpart. Vertical density is linked to horizontal density, and the range of complementary uses is increased. Connections between the two major building components are made via interior pathways at many levels, but also by active outdoor public space. In fact, one of the most effective measures taken to activate the tower and connect it to adjacent buildings is the outdoor plaza. This space forms an “outdoor room,” compressed enough in its dimensions to encourage visual and pedestrian penetration of its boundary walls.
The WAN Awards Tall Buildings category is now open until 30th June.