Commendation

Kyobo Tower in Seoul

Architects: Mario Botta, Lugano
Developer: Kyobo Life Insurance, Seoul

Kyobo Tower, © photo: Y. Chea Park

Mario Botta's Kyobo Tower, located alongside one of Seoul's main axes, introduces a new sense of urban life to the city. Above a large gate the building opens up like a red clinker fortress; indeed the geometric and symmetrical form of the monumental building tower up over the entrance arcade. This impressive form sets the tone of the ensemble's two towers. A rational approach manifests itself in the way the interior is designed, which is highly suitable for use as office space. Overall it forms an impressive, solid ensemble and is an orderly counterpart to Seoul's chaotic city structure.

The construction's conservative design – a steel concrete core with a steel skeleton – and the strictly orthogonal, large-scale ground plans mean that it can be put to very efficient use and the surface area of the floors be divided up in any number of ways. This building is economic in terms of structure and operation.

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