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Hanwha Headquarters Seoul by UNStudio

In its winning entry, UNStudio proposes an animated facade and new interiors and landscaping for Hanwha’s headquarters in Seoul.

Hanwha Headquarters Seoul by UNStudio

UNStudio’s proposal has been selected as the winning entry in the competition for the remodeling of the Hanwha headquarters in Seoul, South Korea. The renovation of the 57,696 metre square tower includes a new facade, and new designs for the common spaces, lobbies, meeting room levels, auditorium, executive areas and landscaping.

For this project, the studio has teamed up with Arup (sustainability and facade consultant), Loos van Vliet (landscape designer), and agLicht (lighting consultant).

The facade is animated by individual LED pixels, with the light reflecting different parts of the building and highlighting areas of activity within. The pixelated lighting is inspired by nature, data processing and energy forms and is designed to form part of the overall Hanwha branding strategy with its position as one of the world’s leading environmental technology providers.

Hanwha Seoul

“The design for the Hanwha HQ media facade aims to avoid an overstated impact,” says UNStudio’s co-founder Ben van Berkel, “In the evening, as the mass of the building becomes less apparent, the facade lighting integrates with the night sky, displaying gently shifting constellations of light.”

The facade has also been developed to improve the indoor climate of the building and react to both the program distribution and the location. Says van Berkel, “By means of a reductive, integrated gesture, the facade design for the Hanwha HQ implements fully inclusive systems which significantly impact the interior climate of the building, improve user comfort and ensure high levels of sustainability and affordability.”

Clear insulated glass and aluminium framing will replace the existing opaque paneling and dark glass to accentuate views and daylight. The geometry of the framing (pattern, size and reveal) will be further defined by the sun and orientation factors to ensure user comfort inside and reduce energy consumption.

Shading reduces direct solar impact on the building, while PV cells are specially positioned on the South/Southeast facade where there is an optimal amount of direct sunlight.

The facade has variety, irregularity and intricacy; this is approached by combining a system of multi-scaled elements in a simple fashion and is additionally informed by the internal program.

The designers have also considered ways to bring the outside. The external landscape continues into the lobby, serving as a sort of wayfinding and creating a relaxing environment for visitors, enhanced by a subtle colour scheme and use of natural materials.


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