SOM’s Diagonal Tower in Yongsan International Business District ofSeoul, South Korea, is a case study in efficiency – 343 meter tall tower successfully minimizes wind loads, reduces construction costs, provides dramatic views and meets strict energy codes by integrating massing, structure and performance. Moreover, it maintains necessary iconic skyline presence.
The design of this landmark skyscraper, with glazed triangular facets, employs passive environmental control strategies within and on the façade – sunshades are positioned at varying angles on each building exposure, horizontal, vertical, and diagonal, thus mitigating heat gain in the summer and permitting direct sunlight to warm the building’s interiors during Seoul’s cold winter months. Triple pane glazed exterior curtain wall decreases energy loss, therefore meeting Seoul Green Guidelines criteria while active chilled beam system surpasses traditional air driven systems, using water as a medium for transferring heating and cooling energy, which results in less energy consumption along with great environmental comfort for building users.
Mixed-use high-rise, located at a prominent corner of the emerging Business District of Seoul, provides more than 170,000 square meters of open office space, sky lobbies with fitness center and cafeteria and a penthouse executive lounge at the top. This prestigious edifice also facilitates two retail pavilions and an ethereal glass multi-functional auditorium, defining pedestrian scale and incorporating the building into its context and the surrounding.
Its primary visual element – the diagonal mega-frame structure, defines the form of the building, while cutting the wind forces and reducing the amount of steel by 25% over a conventionally framed building. Four massive piers support the building, therefore freeing the lobby which becomes the natural continuation of the urban plaza across.