In Seoul, Korea, S-Trenue: Bundle Matrix was developed from the L-shaped podium tower by Mass Studies. Externally the tower is expressed by three slim vertical forms, composed of the central core, and two sides of unit towers, it continues extended to the podium and forms an “L” that as one element.
With the core tower at the center, the slimmer steel construction towers lean at varying angles that still maintain structural soundness. This will create as much distance as possible between the three towers and add outdoor space between them. Because of these spaces, there are many rooms inside the tower with an unusual amount of access and exposure to the outside for a more desirable residential/work environment.
+ Project description by Mass Studies
This tower proposal is an alternative to the conventional residential/office tower prototype of commercial developments, with its design being specific to the site’s conditions.
Generally, the plan of this tower typology is determined by the maximum site coverage (60% in this case), and the maximum F.A.R. (800%), and is repeatedly stacked vertically. Proportionately, this typology is usually on the stable, short side and thus referred to as a “stocky” tower. In this plan, a tower of 14 floors (800% ÷ 60% = 13.333) is possible.
The site is located near the Yeouido National Assembly, in an area that has been developed since the 1980′s and mostly populated with towers built according to this equation to similar height and capacity scales. An urban environment crowded with these types of towers is often monotonous and uninteresting, while the paucity of space between towers results in an oppressive cityscape.
Prototype 1 (Standard): This type is possible when there is enough vertical allowance. The lower four or five levels, mostly filled with high-profit commercial entities, forming a podium of maximum site coverage. Smaller (and therefore less efficient) floors are stacked repeatedly on top of the podium, using extra vertical allowance to reach its maximum height. The podium’s capacity maximizes value and invigorates the neighborhood, while the slimness of the tower improves lighting and views inside. In this project, the site is by a 100m-wide street that adds extra height allowance, for a possible total of 36 floors.
Prototype 2 (L-shaped): This is a variation of the podium tower; The tower atop the podium faces the street and horizontally forms an L-shape. The tower’s visibility increases from the street, while increased distance from neighboring buildings to the rear improves the overall environment.
The L-shaped podium tower is reorganized and transforms into three vertical elements: three slimmer towers. The central core tower, the adjoined street-side tower, the adjoined rear tower and the podium form an “L” that continues as one element.
The core tower is of reinforced concrete construction, the other two, of steel construction. With the core tower at the center, the slimmer steel construction towers lean at varying angles that still maintain structural soundness. This will create as much distance as possible between the three towers and add outdoor space between them. Because of these spaces, there are many rooms inside the tower with an unusual amount of access and exposure to the outside for a more desirable residential/work environment.
Thirty-two bridges in the gaps connect all three towers functionally and structurally. Each of these bridges has a balcony and greenery on either side, creating pleasant gardens suspended in mid-air. The interstitial spaces extend to the commercial lower four floors with an atrium garden, escalator hall and other common areas for rest and transit that enliven the space. The design may have started from a podium tower prototype, but with the division between the podium and tower vanished, the three slimmer towers and two resultant interstitial gaps create vertical urbanity. The site is a gateway into the district, and one can expect this urbanity to act as a new, vital catalyst.
Overall Yeouido Site Plan
There are many changes in store for Yeouido in the near and far future, with its existing financial area at the core. According to the 2020 Seoul Urban Basic Project Plan, Yeouido will be developed as an international financial district and the center of northeast Asian finance.
High-density highrise projects such as the IFC and Park One are being developed to the site’s northeast as a link to such mid- to long-term plans. In the residential areas to the site’s southeast, there are mixed-use highrises already developed or under construction. This project is at the center of a rapidly-changing Yeouido’s commercial and financial center.
The building is comprised of 7 basement levels and 36 superstructure levels, totaling about 39.899 ? and 154.14m in height. Parking and mechanical rooms are located on basement levels 2-7, and community conveniences are on basement levels one to superstructure level four, with the remaining levels 5 to 36 being “officetels” (live/work space). Belt truss reinforcement is at levels 14-15 to strengthen the highrise. Levels 14-15, at the core of the building, contain support facilities and central mechanical rooms and mark the division of facilities.
Level 1 Plan: Street Park
A green park space will be installed along the 100m-wide street. In addition, an 85m x 5m garden island will be installed alongside the street 20m to the west, which is narrow but expected to see significant pedestrian traffic. The street-side park features bamboo and Japanese spurge landscaping and water fixtures. Mist fountains and lighting will create a distinctive urban park that adds to the site’s role as a gateway.
Perspective: Sky Garden
In the interstitial spaces on either side of the core tower, there are 32 green spaces planned for “sky parks.” Over two stories high and arranged to alternate on the right and left, long narrow gardens effectively cross each other in an indeterminate outdoor space. The penthouse level (36th floor) has two outdoor spaces for every three units, with 31 total outdoor spaces that complement the building’s exterior and help formulate the highrise’s identity.
+ Project credits / data
Project: S-Trenue: Bundle Matrix
Design Period: 2006.1 – 2006.7
Construction Period: 2006.8 – 2009.11
Type: Residential (Competition)
Location: Seoul, Korea
Site Area: 2931.00 m2
Site Coverage Area: 1745.01 m2
Total Floor Area: 39898.56 m2
Building-to-Land Ratio: 59.54%
Floor Area Ratio: 799.86%
Building Scope: 36F, B7
Structure: RC, SRC
Finish: T3 AL. sheet, T24(T28) low-e double glass, flit glass, marble
Architects: Mass Studies | http://www.massstudies.com/
Minsuk Cho, Kisu Park, Zongxoo U, Younkyoung Shin, Sangkyu Jeon, Jingyoung Ha, Geunmi Ryu, Jieun Lee, Joonhee Lee, Daeun Jeong, Bumhyun Chun, Kiwoong Ko, Hartmut Flothmann, Dongchul Yang, Seongbeom Mo, Byungkyun Kim, Jisoo Kim, Songmin Lee, Vin Kim, Young Kim, Ranhee Kim, Kwangjin Woo, Minho Hwang, Jiyoung Yoon, Chungwhan Park
Structural Engineer: Junwoo Structure
MEP Engineer: HANA Consulting & Engineers
Civil Engineer: CG E&C
Landscaping: Alban Mannisi + Soltos Landscaping
Construction: SK E&C
Client: SK Networks
Photograph: Iwan Baan, Kyungsub Shin, Wan Soon Park, Yong-Kwan Kim
+ About Mass Studies
Mass Studies was founded in 2003 by Minsuk Cho in Seoul, Korea, as a critical investigation of architecture in the context of mass production, intensely over-populated urban conditions, and other emergent cultural niches that define contemporary society. Amid the many frictions defining spatial conditions in the twenty-first century, namely past vs. future, local vs. global, utopia vs. reality, and individual vs. collective, Mass Studies focuses on the operative complexity of these multiple conditions instead of striving for a singular, unified perspective. For each architectural project, which exist across a wide range of scales, Mass Studies explores issues such as spatial systems/matrices, building materials/techniques, and typological divergences to foster a vision that allows the discovery of new socio/cultural potential.
Minsuk Cho, AIA, Principal
Minsuk Cho was born in Seoul and graduated from the Architectural Engineering Department of Yonsei University (Seoul, Korea) and the Graduate School of Architecture at Columbia University (New York). He began his professional career working for Kolatan/MacDonald Studio, and Polshek and Partners in New York, and later moved to the Netherlands to work for OMA. Through these jobs, he gained experience in a wide range of architectural and urban projects implemented in various locations. With partner James Slade, he established Cho Slade Architecture in 1998 in New York City to be engaged in various projects both in the U.S. and Korea. In 2003, he came back to Korea to open his own firm, Mass Studies.
He has received many awards, including first prize in the 1994 Shinkenchiku International Residential Architecture Competition, the Architectural League of New York’s “Young Architects Award” in 2000 for his work at Cho Slade Architecture, and two U.S. Progressive Architecture Awards (Citations) in 1999 and 2003. Recently, Boutique Monaco was named a finalist for the International Highrise Award (DAM) in 2008 and nominated again for S-trenue in 2010, among other awards. His work was exhibited at La Biennale di Venezia for Dalki Theme Park in 2004, and for Different but Same Houses in 2010. He was also a part of the Open House travelling exhibition from 2006 to 2008, the New Trends of Architecture in Europe and Asia Pacific 2006–2007 traveling exhibit, and has been an active lecturer and participant in symposiums worldwide.
His representative works include “Pixel House,” “Dalki Theme Park,” “Nature Poem,” “Boutique Monaco,” “Seoul Commune 2026,” “S-Trenue,” “Ann Demeulemeester Shop,” “Ring Dome,” “Xi Gallery,” and “World Expo 2010 Shanghai: Korea Pavilion.”