Hankook Tire has broken ground on its KRW266bn ($262m) research and development centre Hankook Technodome at Daeduk Innopolis in Daejeon, South Korea, designed by UK-based architectural firm Foster + Partners.
The project is part of the company's long-term strategic plan to build new research and development infrastructure, which includes the construction of a new testing facility, the Hankook Test Engineering Centre in Sangju.
The seven-storey research and development centre located in Daejeon will sit on a 70,387m² area featuring 90 laboratories and 96,328m² of floor space.
Foster + Partners has designed the building to represent five fingers, with the spaces between the fingers allowing daylight to enter each floor.
This design makes the building flexible and promotes connections between the offices, laboratories and different divisions.
Hankook Technodome features research spaces that are located to the right of the top-lit central finger, a restaurant in the south, accommodation for the staff in the north section, healthcare and fitness centres, and a multimedia room.
Additionally, the building integrates various sustainable design strategies, such as using waste heat from the research and development centre to heat the residential accommodation and a lake at the southern entrance to the site that harvests rainwater for use in cooling.
Hankook Tire CEO and vice-chairman Seung Hwa Suh said the Hankook Technodome has been designed to reflect the company's confidence in research and development, and will be a meaningful milestone in Hankook Tire's history.
"In addition, combined with our proactive corporate culture, the high-tech research and development facility will provide a great foundation for us to realise a management structure based on quality and progressive leadership," Hwa Suh said.
Hankook Technodome is expected to be completed by 2016, and the Hankook Test Engineering Centre will follow in 2018.
Image: Interior view of the Hankook Technodome in Daejeon, Korea. Photo: courtesy of Hankook Tyre.