SEOUL, Oct. 4 (Korea Bizwire) – Thirty years after its site was selected, Korea’s (and the OECD’s) tallest building yet, Lotte World Tower, has finally seen the completion of its exterior structure. With only the finishing touches remaining, construction is expected to wrap up on December 22.
Located in Jamsil, a neighborhood in southeast Seoul’s Songpa District, the tower is 123 stories and 555 meters tall. It sits adjacent to the existing Lotte World development, including a department store, theme park, and the recently-opened Lotte World Mall.
The building’s developer, Lotte Engineering & Construction, invested tremendous time and money into polishing the building’s design plans. Since 1987, it considered over 20 designs from architects both in Korea and overseas, and more than 300 billion won ($271.7 million) was spent on the design process alone.
Although initial designs showed inspiration from Western structures such as the Empire State Building and the Eiffel Tower, later iterations included nods to traditional Korean objects and architecture, such as ancient kites and pottery, the Cheomseongdae Observatory, and the musical string instrument gayageum.
According to the Lotte Corporation, however, the current design is not reflective of existing models, but emphasizes curves in the shape of a cone that narrows towards the top, reminding one of the tip of a brush for the traditional calligraphic art known as Seoye.
The building is also marked by its durability and environmental-friendliness, a company official said.
It can withstand earthquakes up to magnitude 9 on the Richter scale, and an instantaneous wind speed of up to 80 meters per second. The building is supported by a reinforced concrete mat that is 72 meters wide and 6.5 meters thick, 1.8 times the thickness and 2.5 times the amount of concrete (80,000 tons) used for Dubai’s Burj Khalifa.
Of the building’s energy consumption, 14.5 percent or 51,168Mwh annually is self-produced, via BIPV (building-integrated photovoltaics) modules, solar thermal collectors, and a thermal energy conversion generator from the nearby Han River.
Celebrating the completion of the building’s exterior, Lotte is hosting a photography contest exhibit for the new tower, themed “Discovering the Charms of Lotte World Tower,” which is open to public until October 31.
By Joseph Shin (firstname.lastname@example.org)