Decoding Design

For Seoul, a liveable office building

For Seoul, a liveable office building

Posting in Architecture

Seoul, South Korea, is booming with new architecture, each proposed tower one-upping the one that was announced before it. Another building proposal,...

Seoul, South Korea, is booming with new architecture, each proposed tower one-upping the one that was announced before it. Another building proposal, from JDS Architects, however, isn't of the flashy skyscraper breed. Instead, the architects have come up with a new concept for uniting work and living spaces in a cascading design.

The project, dubbed Gwell by the architects, was commissioned by Shinyoung Co. to be a half office, half hotel, in Seoul's burgeoning Gangnam Bogeumjari District. The so-called Officetel Building is meant to be a self-contained hybrid living environment, with 700 hotel spaces (designed small apartment units) in its ten stories. The building will also feature retail spaces.

JDS did their best to work with the landscape of the site when positioning the building, and a courtyard opens toward the hill, allowing the natural environment to become part of the space.

All of the units have been "shifted" to make room for terraces, and the facade that this shift creates gives the building a really cool look. "The cascade of terraces encourages the communication between the neighbors and strengthens the feeling of community within the building," said the designers.

As pointed out by The Fox Is Black's Alex Dent, the presentation of the designs is great on its own. The plans are presented as explanatory diagrams, meant to show step-by-step the strategy of the building at all scales. Getting a glimpse at the design process is a fun way to connect with and learn about a space.

Construction on the Officetel Building starts in the autumn of 2012. For more photos, click here.

[The Fox Is Black]
Images: JDS

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Beth Carter

Contributing Editor

Beth Carter is a freelance journalist based in San Francisco. She has worked for Catalyst magazine, the New York Times Syndicate, BBC Travel and Wired. She holds degrees from the University of Oregon and New York University. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure