Korea plans hashtag-inspired skyscraper
May 7, 2012
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.