The telltale feature of a Morphosis design is the deconstructivist style that permeates the layout of the structure. For their new Kolon Future Research Park, a 404-acre campus in the up-and-coming industrial and tech district of Magkok in Seoul, Morphosis carves out the center of the building to create a light-filled, layered interior. With a lively internal program, this is a design that can’t be taken at face value.
The project, now under construction, will form the corporate headquarters and research center for The Kolon Group, a diverse South Korean company that specializes in textiles, chemicals and sustainable technologies, including original clothing lines in athletic and ready-to-wear fashion markets. The group houses 38 divisions covering research, primary material manufacturing and product construction. This mash-up of professional pursuits inspired Morphosis to design a synergetic facility that encourages cross-platform collaboration and communication.
As seen in the sectional scale model above, the layered structure is composed of sculpted floor slabs that appear to flow seamlessly into one another. Cutting through these planes, an expansive, multistory atrium creates a void that not only physically connects employees at different levels, but also facilitates the client’s goal of creating a functional space for candid, social interaction.
All of these ideas translate holistically into a 821,286-square-foot complex that will promote cross-programming to stir up social and professional interactions. Outsiders looking in from Magkok’s central park as well as employees working on various levels of the building can see the movement through a transparent system of liners, comprised of massive, 8-meter [26-foot] “stretchers” that display different Kolon fabrics. The building in itself is a symbol of the company’s growth and future ambitions.
The building’s façade folds toward the park in an effort to provide shading to the lower floors. This bending volume houses conference rooms and social spaces as well as flagship retail and exhibition galleries at street level that showcase Kolon’s work. Three extended laboratory wings connect to the central structure, an offshoot and more private hub for research and development.
A glass-wrapped ground plane brings the landscape into the interior and atrium, drawing in light and movement toward an open pedestrian walkway and grand entrance. Looking up, visitors and employees can view activity on all floors of the building.
Morphosis and Kolon worked together to ensure the project reached a high level of energy efficiency, resource conservation and environmental stewardship with a focus on education and employee health and well-being. The design includes features such as roof terraces and courtyards to maximize workers’ access to natural light and air.
The use of recycled materials, inclusion of green roofs and a bubble deck slab — which reduces the amount of concrete used by 30 percent — aid in energy conservation. The western façade’s iconic brise-soleil system filters daylight while also doubling as a product display. It features one of Kolon’s high-tech fabrics, Aramid, that increases the material’s tensile strength.
Kolon Future Research Park is slated for completion in March 2018.
Images courtesy of Morphosis