The Blade by Dominique Perrault

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The Blade by Dominique Perrault

Skyscrapers in Seoul: the next building in our series from the new Yongsan International Business District in Seoul, South Korea, is a skyscraper designed by French architect Dominique Perrault, with faceted glass that will ripple across the surface.

The Blade by Dominique Perrault

Top and above: images are by Luxigon

Named The Blade, the 300-metre tower will be diamond-shaped in plan, with its sharpest edges at the north-east and south-west corners of the site.

The Blade by Dominique Perrault

Above: image is by Luxigon

Shops will occupy the lowest storeys but the rest of the tower will be dedicated to office accommodation.

The Blade by Dominique Perrault

Voids in the floors will create high ceilings for four separate lobbies, which will provide a variety of meeting places for occupants.

The Blade by Dominique Perrault

Perrault was one of seventeen architects commissioned to design a tower for the business district, which was masterplanned by Daniel Libeskind and is the biggest urban development project in South Korea. Due for completion in 2024, the masterplan was commissioned by South Korean developer DreamHub. See our earlier stories about designs for the district by MVRDV, BIG and Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture.

The Blade by Dominique Perrault

Images are by Dominique Perrault Architecture apart from where otherwise stated.

Here's some more information from Dominique Perrault Architecture:


Dominique Perrault has been selected to build a tower within the future Yongsan International Business Center in Seoul, whose master plan was designed by Daniel Libeskind.

Dominique Perrault has unveiled on May 2, during a press conference in Seoul, an original silhouette tower reaching 300 meters high: The Blade.

The Blade by Dominique Perrault

In 2008, Dreamhub, a consortium of thirty of the largest Korean companies, has launched an international urban planning competition for the master plan of Yongsan International Business center (587, 000 square meters). Asymptote, Foster & Partners, Jerde Partnership, Daniel Libeskind and SOM are involved. The project named "Archipelago 21" proposed by Daniel Libeskind was selected following the competition. In September 2011 and for two months, Dreamhub has ordered to fifteen renowned international architecture studios to design towers within the master plan.

The Blade by Dominique Perrault

Today, in the heart of historic Seoul, along the north bank of the Han River, the South Korean capital begins a makeover. At the center of public transportation of Seoul, linking the various parts of the metropolis with one another, the Yongsan International Business District is about to know a metamorphosis and to become a new symbol and growth engine for 21st century.

The Blade by Dominique Perrault

The Yongsan International Business Center, ambitious program of nearly 3 millions square meters, is organized as an archipelago of vertical buildings inter-connected a by large park.

Connected to three other major business centers of the city, the future Business Center is developed away from the large monofunctional complexes, offering beyond the offices areas, housing, shops and many government facilities (cultural facilities, education and transport infrastructure).

The Blade by Dominique Perrault

Dominique Perrault, the only French architected invited, takes part again in Seoul’s transformation. After the completion of Ewha Womans University, the architect, through a unique architectural style, participates to the identity of the future business district.

By its silhouette and its dynamic allure, the tower establishes itself in the area as a geographical landmark. Its mysterious shape appears like a totem, an iconic figure.

The Blade by Dominique Perrault

Above: image is by Luxigon

It is not a square or a round building, but a rhomboid prism, arranged in a way that makes it look different depending on the angle of approach. Inspired by its slender shape and sharp edges, the tower has been named The Blade.

Within the effervescence of the emerging architectural styles, The Blade contrasts by being rooted in the urban reality, in a dialogue of light and reflections with the neighbouring towers. Like an optical instrument, its façade fragments and then reconstructs the neighbouring landscape to create a new one.

The Blade by Dominique Perrault

In the way of a sheath, the skin of the tower is clad with glass, reflecting light and its environment, thus releasing a luminous halo which envelopes the silhouette of the tower. This vibration of the building’s skin appears and disappears according to the viewing angle, creating a living architecture, transforming itself with the movements of the sun and the changes of light.

The project sculptures the void like a luxurious material, offering space, light and views of the grand Seoul landscape. The Grand Lobby, the Business Forum, the Wellness or the Panorama Lobby constitute as many cut-outs in the tower volume, dedicated to promenades and relaxation. This superposition of voids contrasts with the constructed volume of adjacent towers and accentuates the lightness of the tower prism.

The Blade by Dominique Perrault

The voids offer respirations and accommodate collective spaces open to the landscape. At night, they dematerialize the silhouette of the tower, which appears then like a precious carved stone.

Dominique Perrault inaugurated Ewha Womans University, Seoul, in 2008. He has designed in 2011, for Gwangju Design Biennale, Korea, an “Urban Folly”, named the Open Box.

The Blade by Dominique Perrault

Client Dreamhub - Yongsan Development CO., Ltd.
Architect: Dominique Perrault Architecture
Architect of the records: Samoo
Engineering: Bollinger + Grohmann (structures), HL Technik (Building services, security, coordination), Jean-Paul Lamoureux (accoustic).

The Blade by Dominique Perrault

Other architecture studios working on the Yongsan International Business Center: AS + GG - Adrian Smith+Gordon Gill Architecture LLP, Riken Yamamoto & FIELDSHOP, Murphy/Jahn Architects, Tange Associate Architects, COOP HIMMELB(L)AU, SDL - Studio Daniel Libeskind Architect, MVRDV, 5+Design, SOM - Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, Renzo Piano Building Workshop, KPF - Kohn Perdersen Fox Associates , Asymptote Architecture, REX Architecture, BIG - Bjarke Ingels Group

The Blade by Dominique Perrault

Location: Yongsan International Business Center - Sky Island, Seoul, Korea
Concept design: December 2011
Schematic design: April 2012
Estimated beginning of the construction: January 2013
Estimated end of the construction: December 2016

The Blade by Dominique Perrault

Tower height: 292,50 m
Number of levels: 56 above ground 8 underground

Surfaces
Tower: 128’400 sqm
Average surface per floor: 2350 sqm gfa
Pavilion: 3’300 sqm
Total: 131’700 sqm

The Blade by Dominique Perrault

Click above for larger image

Footprint
Tower: 2’570 sqm
Pavilion: 875 sqm
Sunken plaza: 780 sqm

The Blade by Dominique Perrault

Click above for larger image

Program
Business forum: business room, banquet room, meeting room pools, business bar and cafe, conciergerie service and amenities
Wellness lobby: sports and fitness club, running track, water bar, wellness center and spa
Offices: state-of-the-art office space, meeting room pools, executive duplex floor including executive board room
Panorama lobby: world class restaurants, bars and shops, rooftop french botanical garden observation deck

  • Katia

    I’m relieved that Libeskind has been squeezed out of the picture and won’t be given any of the building projects. He’s caused enough embarrassment as it is.

  • Colonel Pancake

    I like it. I really, really like it.

    I'm generally not interested in these chic skyscrapers in Asian supercities, but this one just looks like it understands how a building can be appealing without being overly bombastic and tacky.