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Chicago3rd Jan 9, 2009 2:14 AM

SEOUL | Lotte Tower | 1,821 FT / 555 M | 123 FLOORS | U/C
Skyscraper Dream

The Korea Times

Lotte Should Tackle Flight Safety, Other Thorny Issues

The Lotte Group, one of the nation's largest conglomerates, is likely to realize its long-cherished dream of building a 555-meter-tall skyscraper in southeastern Seoul. On Wednesday, the Lee Myung-bak administration took a step toward giving the go-ahead to the 1.7-trillion-won mega project. That is, it has changed its previous position against the plan in a move to end 14 years of a conflict of interest between business and national security.

Industrial sources predicted that Lotte might break ground as early as March, anticipating a fast government decision. However, the decade-long controversy over business favors for the family-run chaebol at the sacrifice of the public good will not die down easily. Over the past years, the government had turned down the building plan for security reasons. Still at stake is the safety of aircraft flying in and out of Seoul Airport in Seongnam, Gyeonggi Province, which is too close to the planned 112-story high-rise.

In this regard, the previous governments had recommended that Lotte build a 352-meter-high structure. In particular, the Air Force had strongly opposed the project, claiming that a skyscraper as tall as 555 meters would pose a serious safety threat to planes taking off from and landing at the military airport less than 6 kilometers south of the site. The administration of former Presidents Kim Young-sam, Kim Dae-jung and Roh Moo-hyun backed the Air Force's stance.

However, President Lee has reportedly sought to change the government position since he took office last February. His move is not surprising as he already expressed his support for Lotte's bid while serving as Seoul mayor from 2002-06. There were allegations that the group has actively lobbied for its ambitious project by taking advantage of Lee's pro-business policy. The President has reportedly instructed his policymakers to positively review Lotte's request, believing that the construction project will create a large number of jobs. He is also allegedly in favor of easing the building height limit in accordance with his deregulation drive.

At last, the government has decided to consider shifting a Seoul Airport runway by 3 degrees so that the new building will not compromise flight safety. An official disclosed that Lotte has accepted a government request that the group finance the cost of the runway alteration, which is estimated at 100 billion won ($77.5 million). The Ministry of National Defense and Lotte have yet to sign an official agreement on the matter. However, optimists say it is only a matter of time before the government approves the project.

But critics point out that the Lee administration may set a bad precedent for sidelining national security only to promote the business interests of Lotte, a group of 50 subsidiaries that includes department stores, hotels and amusement parks. They warned of potential air accidents, as the airport is a strategic military base for flying reconnaissance aircraft, fighter jets and cargo planes. Policymakers should consider emergency situations, such as a war and terrorist attacks, before making a final decision.

Besides, the authorities should tackle practical issues such as traffic congestion and the environmental effects a skyscraper will pose to the area. Residents of Seongnam are denouncing the government by saying it is trying to allow Lotte's plan without easing the 45-meter building height limit on the Gyeonggi Province side of the airport. It remains to be seen how the Lee administration will harmonize the conflicting interests on the basis of public consensus.

tommaso Feb 7, 2009 6:16 AM

Any renderings?
Are there currently any renderings of the proposed Lotte 1821 Ft tower?

M II A II R II K Feb 7, 2009 7:04 PM

I wonder what chance this has of being built...

Seoul has the tendency of spitting out many fictitious proposals which never see the light of day.

scalziand Feb 7, 2009 7:12 PM

Here's the SSC thread on it:
Skip to the last page for pics.

WonderlandPark Feb 7, 2009 7:57 PM

Korea is the King of unbuilt supertalls. Even when the economy was sizzling, they only got that one at Incheon going. I don't believe this one, either.

nashvillain Mar 26, 2009 1:59 AM

Update from the Korea Times
Article from the Korea Times, Wednesday, March 25.

"Lotte Gets Go Ahead for Construction of Skyscraper"

Just thought I'd give an update.

Urbannizer Mar 28, 2009 8:37 PM


koval95 Mar 30, 2009 10:58 PM

wow.... amazing desing

psumase Apr 6, 2009 8:41 PM

Those renderings are of the SOM design. Unfortunately, that is no longer the way in which the Lotte group is interested in going. I haven't seen any new renderings, but they've chosen another design team.
It's a shame because the diagrid option shown in the SOM renderings is amazing from both a structural and an architectural standpoint. The building would've tapered from a square at the base to a circle at the top. Maybe someone else will use that design.

NYguy Oct 22, 2009 2:10 PM

Design Complete for Tallest Building in Asia

By Katie Hinderer
October 22, 2009

SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA-The project of what will be the tallest skyscraper in Asia is one step closer to completion. This week New York City-based Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates finished its conceptual design for the Lotte Super Tower 123.

KPF won the assignment earlier this year, beating out two other companies vying for the job. KPF design principal James von Klemperer tells his company’s design won because, “We made a point of balancing powerful imagery with strong constructional logic. Any developer of a project this big needs to know that the building makes economic sense.”

KPF’s design is sleek, slender and cone-shaped. “The tower’s uninterrupted curvature and gentle tapered form is reflective of Korean artistry. The seam that runs from top to bottom of the structure gestures toward the old center of city,” says von Klemperer. "Elegance of form was one of our prime objectives, following Lotte's desire to bestow a beautiful monument to the capital city skyline."

Von Klemperer says this building is a first for several reasons. It will be the first super tall built in Korea, even though Korean companies have built such buildings in other countries like Dubai and Kuala Lumpur. The building will also be the first to seamlessly contain all the major commercial real estate property types in one structure, creating a kind of vertical city. “The program is the most varied of super tall programs. Instead of two or three major uses, this building has five distinct vertical zones: retail; office; residential; hotel and observation.”

KPF plans will utilize the first six floors for retailers. Floors seven through 60 will houses offices, while floors 61 through 85 will be residential space. On top of that, from floors 86 through 119, the seven-star luxury hotel will sit. The top floors will be public space including an entertainment area and observation deck.

The owner and developer, the Lotte Group has already achieved all the major zoning approvals for the project. Pre-construction has already begun on the site, with excavation nearly complete. Plans call for the creation of the foundation to begin in January, according to Von Klemperer. KPF plans to construct the building according to Silver LEED accreditation standards.

When construction completes in 2014 the 123-story building will be the second tallest in the world and the tallest Asian building. There are four other super tall building projects in the works here, although the Lotte project is the most advanced of them all.

While so many companies have halted all new development projects throughout the world, von Klemperer tells is it interesting to see the project moving ahead at such a time.” Aside from the fact that Lotte is cash rich, they have explained that the project is part of a chaebol stimulus plan. In other words, the top Korean conglomerates are pitching in to get the economy back on track,” he says.

Lotte plans to utilize some of the office portion as its new headquarters facility.

NYguy Oct 23, 2009 4:15 AM

Lotte's $2bn Seoul skyscraper to be world's second tallest

By Christian Oliver
October 22 2009


James von Klemperer, leading the design team, said Lotte had set "an aggressive schedule" to complete the 555m-high building by 2014 and that the digging works for the foundations had been carried out.

Mr Shin had been attracted by French styles, and one of the designs for the project had been a 500m Eiffel tower. The Parisian monument is 324m high.

"It was a ridiculous idea, like Disneyland on steroids," Mr von Klemperer said, adding that companies had to be careful about the image projected by a building that would shape the city's horizon and earn a nickname.

He said KPF's designs were modelled on curves in Korean calligraphy and ceramics.

When asked why the conglomerate was not gunning for the world's biggest building, he replied: "There comes a point where these 'super-talls' cease to be economic.

"We can let the Burj Dubai be its own special anomaly. Within Asia, there's Taipei 101 and the Petronas Towers, so to be king of that pile is good."

malec Oct 23, 2009 8:12 AM

And Shanghai Tower :)

samoen313 Oct 23, 2009 3:27 PM

Even with massive excavation going on at the site, South Korea is still zero for twenty (maybe fifty? a hundred? is anyone keeping track anymore?) in realizing their flavor-of-the-month mega-supertalls. We'll see.

malec Oct 23, 2009 10:43 PM

Definitely site prep, will probably be moved to the construction forum very soon.

malec Oct 23, 2009 10:54 PM

Some more stuff.


Originally Posted by gothicform (Post 44964772)
well here's the world exclusive for you on the new design. 555m tall, 123 storeys, offices, residential, hotel... completion date of 2014.

story here but this is what i do twitter for -

King weatherman3 Oct 25, 2009 10:27 PM


Originally Posted by malec (Post 4520654)
Some more stuff.

I like this nice of build :cheers: :yes: :banana:

Complex01 Oct 26, 2009 12:23 AM

Ooo Fancy. I likes...


sentinel Oct 26, 2009 1:04 AM

That's quite a lovely tower!

djvandrake Oct 27, 2009 5:38 PM

That is beautiful. I certainly like this latest version better than the previous renders. I hope they get it built. It certainly will look lonely without much else of even close to comparable size around it, but that's not all that unheard of in Asia.

Texan101 Oct 27, 2009 6:33 PM

Wow what a awesome looking building. Hope all goes as planned and it's finished. This project just jumped into my top 5 favorites U/C.:tup:

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