David Chipperfield – in collaboration with local architects and consultants – has designed the new headquarters of a big South Korean IT company, Mirae Asset Global Investments, located in the Seongsu district of Seoul. The building, called “K-Project”, is conceived as a kind of infrastructure and its concept is developed around “hardware” and “software” layers.
The hardware includes five large open plan floors served by eight vertical cylindrical cores containing the circulation and services; the software includes a system of flexible surfaces between the hardware slabs with two mezzanine levels between each structural floor. The lightweight structure supports the flexible configuration of spaces, giving the building the ability to adapt to many different ways of working and providing evolving social infrastructure for the Seongsu community. The curtain wall system is designed to break down the scale of the superstructure and give movement to the outer shell, while the recessed facades create terraces and outdoor gardens. The flush facades are covered with brise soleil grids to reduce light reflection and overheating.
The first two levels of the building form a kind of cultural multiplex open to the public, with a ring of commercial and cultural activities organized around the covered central square, which can easily be transformed into an event space. Three urban squares expand the public space around the perimeter of the site and serve as entrance courtyards. The building, currently under construction, is expected to be completed in 2024.