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Korea plans hashtag-inspired skyscraper


May 7, 2012

A Danish architectural firm is planning to construct a skyscraper in South Korea modeled after the familiar hashtag or "#" symbol

A Danish architectural firm is planning to construct a skyscraper in South Korea modeled after the familiar hashtag or "#" symbol

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The hashtag or "#" symbol has taken on a lot more use in recent years, especially with the rise of social media tools like Twitter, where it's used to highlight popular topics. So in a way, it's a fitting model for an apartment building designed to act as a self-contained neighborhood, which is exactly the idea behind the Cross # Towers planned for South Korea. Danish architectural firm, Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG), is modeling the look of the proposed building after the familiar symbol, by placing two interlocking bridges between two skyscrapers, which will also support outdoor park areas to mimic the sort of spaces you'd normally find on the ground.

The Cross # Towers were proposed for the Yongsan International Business District in Seoul as part of a master plan for New York-based Studio Liebeskind for Korean development group, Dreamhub. The finished structure will fill a 21,000 meter-squared (226,042 sq. ft.) space on the southeast edge of the area, with the towers holding 600 apartments and reaching heights of 214 and 204 meters (702 and 669 ft). Originally the designers wanted to build just two incredibly tall towers, but height restrictions forced them to get creative. They essentially lopped several floors off of their original specs and reused them as bridges, giving the whole structure a unique look that will stand out among the Seoul skyline.

This design choice doesn't just give the building a familiar shape though, since the sheer size of the two connecting bridges allows for outdoor communal areas to be built right on top of them. Along with a courtyard slightly below ground level spanning the two buildings, the tops of the bridges will be converted into roof gardens, complete with grass, trees, and areas for outdoor activities. The idea was to provide spaces for recreational activities that are more often reserved to the ground (though the odds are pretty high that a kid's going to lose a ball over the edge right after it opens). A library, kindergarten, and gallery will also add to the neighborhood-like feel of the whole complex.

BIG hopes the completed towers will represent a shift away from the usual disconnected towers of most cities, which don't foster socializing quite as much. Partner in charge with BIG, Thomas Christoffersen, told Dezeen, “the typical tower inherently removes life from the city it occupies. Circulation is linear and social interactions occur only in lobbies or awkward elevator rides. We propose a building that triples the amount of ground floor – triples the amount of social interaction and reintroduces the idea of neighborhood within the tower complex.”

No word yet on when or if the Cross # Towers will begin construction.

Source: BIG via Dezeen

About the Author
Jonathan Fincher Jonathan grew up in Norway, China, and Trinidad before graduating film school and becoming an online writer covering green technology, history and design, as well as contributing to video game news sites like Filefront and 1Up. He currently resides in Texas, where his passions include video games, comics, and boring people who don't want to talk about either of those things. All articles by Jonathan Fincher

That symbol is a HASH, not a hashtag. The word hashtag came into use after Twitter etc. started using it. See the explanation here: http://bit.ly/KCATbl

About the building? well, has anyone planned making one in the form of an ampersand (&)? that would be more interesting...


i'd love to see the engineering numbers on the bridges.. if there is any seismic activity in the area, this structure would be terrifying.

aside from the fact that making it stand up would be incredibly expensive, the idea is certainly an evolution of le corbusier and deserves high marks.


@tschreck I disagree: Nothing having to do with Le Corbusier deserves high marks.

Jason Martin

@Jason Martin: regardless of how you feel about corbu, the high marks are for advancing older ideas into a more timely context and incrementally improving the human condition.. we are all standing on the shoulders of giants, whether or not you feel that their contributions are valid.


Ah...the ignorance.

It's an "octothorpe", not a "hash", "hashtag", or "number sign" which are its uses.


It's not a "hash tag". It's an octothorpe.


I think it's interesting. New thinking without being ridiculous and pretentious like Frank Gehry designs. One advantage that hasn't been mentioned here is that the bridges can provide additional escape routes in case of fire or other emergencies, so as long as one tower is unaffected, you're no more than 20 floors away from an evacuation route.


I worry about the stresses caused by the towers differing movements.


The interlocking sections would actually provide more support to the two main towers, making both buildings sway less in high winds or during an earthquake.


Thanks, SOLUTIONS4CICUITS, I just renamed my 3D # design "3D HASHTAG" but I too was ignorant. I shall rename this free standing object ""3D # Octothorpe". You and other readers will see, and are able to check: Facebook: Jon Streep, AESTRYP or Google some of my basic designs. The cube as it was called previously, I executed in wood, smoked glass, and fluorescent material during the late '70s', they have on public display and are circulating somewhere in the Netherlands. Unfortunately my design has not been noted by architects such as Liebeskind et al, perhaps in the near future they will though, however, as the GREEN concept is gaining interest my more recent "truncated octohedron" model may reopen new perspectives. Presently I am looking out for a interdiciplenar team or position as architectural senior designer in order to realize a lifesize save and sound super structure containing ~44 floors-135m high on a 270x 270m footprint and shaped as a truncated pyramid with a ~90x90m flat top. Anyone interested or further info: j_streep@hotmail.com

Jon Streep
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