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Adrian Smith unveils design plans for two mixed-use towers in South Korea

13 May 2012 (Last Updated May 13th, 2012 18:30)

Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture (AS+GG) has unveiled design plans for the Dancing Dragons, a pair of supertall mixed-use towers to be built in the new Yongsan International Business District in Seoul, South Korea.

Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture (AS+GG) has unveiled design plans for the Dancing Dragons, a pair of supertall mixed-use towers to be built in the new Yongsan International Business District in Seoul, South Korea.

Tower 1 will be 450m high spread across 88 floors, while Tower 2 will be 390m high spread across 77 storeys; the towers will feature residential space, offices, and retail spaces.

The buildings’ design consists of slender, sharply angled mini-towers cantilevered around a central core and features a series of diagonal massing cuts that create living spaces that float beyond the structure.

The facade will incorporate overlapping panels with a gap of 600mm between them to allow air to circulate inside the structure.

The building exteriors have been designed to resemble the scales of fish or Korean mythical creatures like dragons, which are intended to look like they are ‘dancing’ around the core of the building structure.

AS+GG design partner Adrian Smith said that there is a relationship between the two masses at the level of the cuts, almost as though they were dancing.

"It’s always important for our designs to reflect and interpret the cultures they serve, and the Dancing Dragons complex certainly does that, although in an abstract and highly technological manner," Smith said.

Each of the towers will have four columns; the mini towers are hung off the columns in a balanced manner through a belt truss system.

In Tower 1 the mini towers have been designed in a V-shape, with massing cuts at the top and bottom, while in the smaller tower there will be cuts in a single unbroken line.

In both buildings, the mini-tower cuts will be covered in glass at the top and bottom which will offer skylights above the units at the higher levels and a transparent floor at the lower level.

The mini towers could house penthouse duplex units offering abundant natural light and 360-degree views of downtown Seoul and the adjacent Han River.

Sustainable features of the towers include triple-glazed window units to minimise heat loss, an overlapping exterior wall system, natural ventilation in all units, radiant heating and fuel-cell cogeneration units at basement level.

The tower will also feature photovoltaic arrays on the roof surfaces, daylight-linked lighting controls and heat recovery via electric centrifugal chillers.

The project’s design team includes engineering and energy consulting firm Positve Energy Practice and Werner Sobek, a structural engineering firm which, in collaboration with AS+GG, developed the structural scheme for the building.