The first thing you notice about the Kolon One & Only Tower in Seoul’s Magok district is its shark-tooth exoskeleton, made from the same fibre as bullet-proof vests.
Kolon Industries is best known for its outdoor consumer products in South Korea, but it also produces industrial materials, chemicals, film and electronics parts too. It needed a new home for its 38 divisions that could contain labs, social spaces and administrative areas.
Californian architecture firm Morphosis worked with the textile manufacturer to create this new research facility, incorporating the company’s own high-tech polymer in its façade. Hidden support structures allow it to seemingly hover over the glazed exterior.
The tower boasts sustainable features such as solar panels and green roofs; recycled materials were also used where appropriate along with bubble deck technology to minimise the amount of concrete used.
A grand central staircase descends through the hall, based on the Spanish Steps in Rome, which is lined with 400 panels that showcase Kolon’s materials. Workers at the tower can also enjoy outdoor courtyards and roof terraces.
The project’s principal architect, Eui-Sung Yi, said: ‘Inspired by Kolon’s severe-weather layered performance wear, our team worked with engineers and fabricators to apply a performance-driven series of vertical layers to our design that challenges the conventional approach to sunshade design and enhances the building’s sustainability.’
Click here to view this remarkable building.