Korea: Daesung D-Cube City sets a new standard in urban social activity

Intended to transform a 320,000 m2 industrial coal processing plant site into a mixed-use public district, D-Cube City’s design represents a major accomplishment for land redevelopment in Korea, catalyzing the continued evolution of the area into a vibrant urban hub. Located in the dense capital city of Seoul, just south of the Hangang River and connected to the Sindorim Station-one of the city’s busiest metro lines-D-Cube City sets a new standard in sustainable, mixed-use, transit-oriented development resulting in a catalyst for development and social advancement.

The new cultural/commercial destination is one of the city’s first fully integrated developments of its kind, composed of a six-level 80,000 m2 commercial and cultural complex with a major performance hall as its rooftop, a 42-story landmark office and hotel tower, and over six acres of public landscape, parks and plazas. Two adjacent 50-story residential towers designed by SAMOO complete the new urban complex.

Formulating a co-existence of Nature & Culture within a highly dense urban environment, D-Cube City’s artful vertical design incorporates elements inspired by the Yi In-mun painting “Mountains and Rivers Without End,” weaving together distinct building forms organic to Korea with the openness and fluidity of pedestrian movement. Among the project’s design highlights are specific tenant spaces shaped like Asian lanterns which create warm, glowing light filtering through the exterior cladding at night. An experiential outdoor pathway climbing through the lantern buildings to the top of the urban complex represents the character of an Italian hill town executed in contemporary architecture. The landmark tower is designed as a symbol of energy growing toward the sky, referencing the site’s former coal plant smoke stacks.

D-Cube City’s synthesis of public offerings and nature improves urban livability by promoting pedestrian activity, enhancing surrounding circulation, and increasing opportunities for social interaction, all within a destination sensitive to its environmental impact. An integrated Building and Energy Management System has been deployed to minimize energy usage and carbon footprint. Other sustainable design features include photovoltaic panels, grey water use for plant irrigation, and recycled materials for landscaping. An ecological wetland was also created to educate children and their families on the environment, and the project has been certified as an eco-friendly building by CreBiz QM (Korean accreditation).

Since its opening in September 2011, D-Cube City has made significant contributions to the local economy. To date, the average visitor count is 80,000 people per month, with hotel occupancy of 90%. The land value has increased from approximately $1,580/m2 in 2003 to approximately $5,400/m2 in 2011 – a dramatic 340% increase. Nearby real estate values have increased from the same period by an average of 20%. The project has created over 3,000 new jobs and provides a new public park.

Inspired by the dynamic culture of South Korea and the desire to re-energize the natural realm as an originating root of public culture, Daesung D-Cube City sets a new standard in urban social activity, influencing its people to evolve alongside the natural and urban environment around them.

Lead architects were The Jerde Partnership with executive architect SAMOO.


Source: World Architecture News


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