Asymptote Architecture principals Hani Rashid and Lise Anne Couture are pleased to announce the launch of the Velo Towers, within the Dreamhub development in the Yongsan District of Seoul Korea. Asymptote’s project is designed as an integral part of the master plan accommodating several new projects that are situated along the newly planned Yongsan Park. Neighboring projects include MVRDV’s Cloud Towers, the Cross # Towers by BIG Architects and Project R6 by REX.

The Velo Towers are composed as a dynamic arrangement of stacked and rotated volumes that are a formal and programmatic counterpoint to the conventional extrusion of massing that exemplifies the supertall as a building type. By breaking down the scale and massing of the two distinct towers into interconnected circular and oblong volumes, the Velo project proposes an alternative architectural and urbanistic response to the repetitive and monolithic austerity of conventional tower design.

The recombination of the typical tower form into a new horizontal and vertical configuration enables the formation of a socially engaging and dynamic environmental response, as well as the creation of a discreet yet compelling architectural landmark for the Yongsan district. The Towers’ eight distinct residential components are rotated and positioned within a carefully choreographed massing arrangement, calibrating the orientation and views of each residential volume and taking full advantage of the Towers’ position adjacent to the Yongsan Park overlooking the Han River in the distance.







With a collection of roof gardens, shared amenities and internal circulation around light filled open atrium spaces, the vertically distributed massing elements create unique 6 to 8 storey residential communities on the skyline. The towers are joined by two bridge structures that house shared public amenities, and act as neighborhood scale ‘connectors’ for the towers’ residents. The building’s raised plinth hovers above the communal landscape surrounding the base of the Towers while the Skybridge floats 30 storeys above; housing fitness and recreations centers, lounges, pools, spas and cafes along with a sky garden providing spectacular views over the entire Yongsan site.

While the overall massing of the Velo Towers is comprised of a dynamic arrangement of rotated and stacked components, the architecture of the towers is further articulated volumetrically and materially at the scale of the facades. The unique faceted façades of the Velo Towers are comprised of large prefabricated components consisting of glass within custom molded composite shells finished in pearlescent automotive paint. The 500 individual luxury units that vary in size from 45m2 to 82m2 are also designed for compatibility with custom prefabricated plug-in interior components.

Asymptote’s design of the Velo Towers exploits the latest advances in design, materials and digital fabrication that are now prevalent in present day automotive, aerospace and marine industries. The merging of these with the latest technological advancements in architecture and the ways in which components can be fabricated and buildings assembled, is enabling Asymptote’s vision for the Velo Towers to be realized.

The Velo Towers is the third Asymptote project now underway in South Korea. Along with the Velo Towers there is a 3000 sq meter structure for multimedia exhibitions near Gwangui that is scheduled to open in September 2012 and the 650 m tall World Business Center Tower (WBCB) in Busan is currently under development.

Asymptote Architecture

Baking studio Una’s Kitchen is located in Chungdamdong, Seoul, as a contemporary space based on black and white. The owner/chef planned the space to share tasty food with beloved people and the space is full of the client’s emotion entirely.

The 70 sq m space is not only divided into kitchen, office and studio but also connected by the transparent Double-Wall Polycarbonate. The boomerang-formed studio table(to a thickness of a centimetre, 4.2 metres long in length) located in centre of studio is based on black and white with the classic colour, gold.

Una’s Kitchen, based on black, white and gold, shows canvas and object including the intention of owner/chef, majoring in sculpture from art school in Hongik University and the space designer.

Location: 62-3 3F Nao Bldg.,Cheongdam-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Client: Una’s Kitchen
Architect: Nordic Bros. Design Community | Shin Yong-Hwan

Nordic Bros. Design Community

Busan Cinema Center / Busan International Film Festival, Busan, South Korea (2005 – 2012)

The Busan Cinema Center – A multifunctional urban plaza

COOP HIMMELB(L)AU’s design for the Busan Cinema Center and home of the Busan International Film Festival (BIFF) provides a new intersection between public space, cultural programs, entertainment, technology and architecture creating a vibrant landmark within the urban landscape.

LED saturated outdoor roof elements acting as a virtual sky connect building-objects and plaza-zones into a continuous, multifunctional public urban space.

Media, technology, entertainment and leisure are merged in an open-architecture of changeable and tailored event experiences. The result is a responsive and changing space of flows acting as an urban catalyst for cultural exchange and transformation.



Project Description

The concept envisions an urban plaza of overlapping zones including an Urban Valley, a Red Carpet Zone, a Walk of Fame and the BIFF Canal Park. The urban plaza is formed by building and plaza elements sheltered by two large roofs that are enabled with computer programmed LED outdoor ceiling surfaces. The larger of the roofs includes a column-free cantilever of 85 meters over a multifunctional Memorial Court event plaza. The urban zones of the complex are formed by individual and recognizable building objects placed below the outdoor roofs. The building objects contain theater, indoor and outdoor cinemas, convention halls, office spaces, creative studios and dining areas in a mixture of sheltered and linked indoor and outdoor public spaces. The design of these spaces supports flexible, hybrid functionality that can be used both during the annual festival period and day-to-day use without interruption.

The urban zones defined by functional surfaces in plan are further articulated in a sectional dialogue between stone-clad “ground” forms of the Cinema Mountain and BIFF Hill, and the metal and LED clad “sky” elements of the roofs. The materiality of the building objects differentiates the spaces and articulates the architectural concept. Through their shape, placement and materiality, the various parts create a dynamic and informal tension between the ground and the roof.

Architecture and Cinema – the Main Roof

The dynamic LED lighting surface covering the undulating ceilings of the outdoor roof canopies gives the Busan Cinema Center its symbolic and representative iconographic feature. Artistic lighting programs tailored to events of the BIFF or the Municipality of Busan can be created by visual artists and displayed across the ceiling in full motion graphics, creating a lively urban situation at night, but also visible during the day.

Cinema Mountain

The Cinema Mountain is a multifunctional building containing both a 1,000 seat multifunctional theater with fly-tower and full backstage support, and a three-screen multiplex comprised of a 400-seat and two 200-seat Cinemas. Separate entrances and foyers are provided for theater and cinema respectively, however the foyers and circulation are designed so that they can be combined depending on operational preferences.

Complete structural separation between the theater and the cinemas ensures optimal noise isolation for the theater space, which is designed as a first-class, flexible hall with seating on two levels and optimal sight lines and adjustable acoustics. A flexible proscenium type stage with side stages and fly-tower accommodates movable acoustical towers used to close down the stage volume for concerts and operatic theater, but can be easily moved for theater, musicals and other staged events. The stage includes a fore-stage lift that can provide additional seating, an orchestra pit or stage extension as preferred. Horizontally tracking curtains along the walls of the audience chamber can be hidden or deployed to adjust the acoustics of the space.



BIFF Canal Park

The BIFF Canal Park is proposed as an extension of the open network of public programs into the planned riverside park, and as a linking element between the river and the cinema complex. A new pedestrian footbridge is proposed to connect the Busan Cinema Center site with the park across the Boulevard to the South connecting the Double Cone with the APEC Park. An additional outdoor event ‘bowl’ is proposed surrounded by canals that can provide public and private boat access to the project site. Space for a future extension of the Busan Cinema Center project is proposed as an island among the canals, further integrating the cultural functions of the Busan Cinema Center project with the surrounding public space and landscape environment.

Site Area: 32,100 m²
Net Floor Area (interior spaces): 51,067 m²
Gross Floor Area (interior spaces): 57,981 m²
Built-up Area: 10,005 m² (without roofs)
Cubage: 349,708 m³

Coop Himmelblau


The store as a huge vault, concealing precious merchandise.
Papyrus is an optician's retail space, and the client wanted an eye-catching landmark.

Wallga Associates applied the concept of concealment - a good way to maximize the perceived value of the merchandise. Until you open the door and go inside, the store is nothing more than a big safe.

Once you enter, the experience is something like being in a secret, de luxe vault.

At first glance, all you see is the restrained asile space surriunded by elegant antiqued walls. you have your own secret time to search for a stylish pair of glasses. Most stores expose their product to attract customers; that's the common-sense approach. But we want to challenge the fundamental paradigms of retail space.

Wallga Associates figured that efficiently closing out the space world ultimately elevate the shopper's concentration on the product. We even dimmed the lighting throughout the store, except for LED spotlights that pick out the 'hidden' products.



Location :
Sinsa-dong 614, Gangnam-gu, Seoul, Korea
Project :
Retail space for optician
Concept :
The store as a huge vault, concealing precious merchandise
Client :
Private
Area :
118 M2
Completed :
June 2012

Wallga Associates




Architects:  Chang Gil Kim, Samjung architect
Location: Hwaseong-si, Gyeonggi-do, Korea
Project : Polarion Square
Client: Polarion
Building Scope : F8, B1
Site Area : 2,314㎡
Site Coverage Area : 1,370.01㎡
Construction : Sehan Construction
Total Floor Area : 6,675㎡
Structure : RC

Polarion Square

The clubhouse at Lake Hills Suncheon is located on a hill in Juam-myeon, Suncheon, Jeollanam-do. It is about a 30 minutes’ drive from the Yeosu Airport and an hour’s drive from Gwangju and overlooks the panoramic scenery. As for its topographical features, the site is surrounded by Mt. Oseongsan to the southeast and commands a magnificent view of the vast ridge to the northwest.


Suncheon, Jeollanam-do, is home of the Seonamsa Temple (AD 529), which was built during the Three Kingdoms period and the Songgwangsa Temple (AD 1197) Suncheon, Jeollanam-do, which was the center of Korean Buddhism in the Goryeo Dynasty. These two structures have a distinct historical value in the architectural history of Korea from the viewpoint of construction techniques and aesthetics. In Suncheon, numerous traditional Korean-style houses have been preserved. In short, the area has a long-standing history and traditional value in terms of architecture.

We set up a goal to take advantage of the local unique characteristics and to create a structure that reflects the intentions of the client and also the traditional Korean architecture. Our intensions were to interpret tectonic elements of the traditional Korean wooden building, while accommodating the club’s complex function into a wooden structure that expresses the Korean architectural beauty. We redefined the architectural elements reflecting Korean traditions rather than reproducing or imitating. This was done in a way that reflects the architectural characteristics and spatial aesthetics of the building and focuses on representing the aesthetics, space perception and sentiments(emotions) of general Korean architecture. In particular, we applied modern construction methods as well as structural improvements in order to utilize the long-span space while reproducing the diagonally curved roofs and the wooden structure of Korean architecture.

For siting, we took into consideration the topography of the golf course facing the northwesterly direction and placed it in the center of the entire lot where cutting and filling are minimized. Also, as for the orientation of the structure, among locations commanding a fair view of the layered mountain ridges, we chose the one that offers the best view as the central axis and secured a vista of the distant ridges and sunset.

The internal circulation from the canopy at the entrance to the lobby, restaurant and the private dining rooms are re-interpretation of the eaves of traditional Korean roofs. It is a wooden structure with the 14m-long span and 12m-high inverted arch. We pursued the structural beauty of traditional Korean architecture, in which the wooden structure itself serves not only as the structure, but also as the interior finishing material. Spaces using water such as the locker rooms, saunas, and bathing area, were built with concrete. The roof is inclined so that it serves as an eco-friendly rooftop green space. Additionally, external light is brought inside the building through the lifted inclined planes.

Depending on the use of the program, the mass of the building can be largely divided into either wooden mass or concrete mass. The feelings of a box-like solid and simple mass, rendered by the concrete and the soft, elegant and warm feeling of the curved wooden structure, are balanced together while creating a juxtaposed tension.

The construction materials were simplified to stainless steel, wood, stone and glass. Only the characteristics and physical properties of the materials are presented and the patterns and shapes are restrained as much as possible. Granite stone, use in traditional Korean architecture, was mainly used. For the wooden structure, the North American Glulam was manufactured in the United States and processed and prefabricated in Japan before it was imported. As for the metal joint system, the BVD hanger joint structural system developed in Germany was used.

Architect: Ken Min Architects
Location: Jeollanam-do, South Korea
Client: Lake Hills Golf & Resorts Group
Project Year: 2008
Photographs: Kim Yong Kwan

Ken Min Architects

The Bujang-Li house is composed of the first floor where the old couple will stay and the second floor for their children visiting them occasionally. The first and second floors are separated so that they should use stairs outside the house. I hoped to make the second floor, which will be used once in a while, like a different house or a neighbor still these are one house.

The impression was strange and dreary at the first when I had visited the site. The old house stood by itself on the field where harvest is done. Houses were scattered sparsely in the large field.





On the second floor, there is only one room and most parts of it are opened to outside as terrace. It is enjoyable to look around the wide field with a open view when standing there. When lying down in the shade of the roof, I can see the sky and feel the wind blowing from all directions. I wish that the place becomes a multi-purpose space for eating meals, taking a nap, drying peppers and having a village party.









The client wanted to change the old soil house which was constructed by himself without a floor plan of it to  a cozy rural house. The only one thing he asked for was to build “a not-cold house” since he has lived in a house that was not insulated at all. I guess that he may expect that a warm house will be built with a red tiled roof and bricks like habit. However, I had second thoughts.

Architects: Oh Jongsang
Location: Chungcheongnam-do, South Korea
Site Area: 1,279 sqm
Area: 135 sqm
Year: 2012
Photographs: Courtesy of Oh Jongsang







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