Uhan Technos HQ office
Min Seohong founded MINIMAX architects in 2013 and has been exploring total solutions between architecture and urban design. At the same time, he teaches architectural design and urban design at Hongik University and Ewha Womans University. In 2016, a new design brand, MMKM associates, was established in collaboration with KM architects, Kim, Sekyeong and has been working with various groups of experts to make a wide range of activities in furniture, installation art, interior design, architecture and urban design based on space design. He graduated from the University of California at Berkeley with a master's degree in architectural design and a master's degree in urban design from Columbia University. After graduation, he worked as a professional architect in the Asian section of the international project team SOM(Skidmore Owings & Merrill). Since 2013, he has been working on master plan projects for Yangpyeong and Anseong, office building projects such as Yuhan Technos HQ., and Bongeunsa Office, residential projects like Hwanghak-dong and Pyeongtaek Y House, interior projects such as Shinhonghap Valley Business Support Center and Maria Santangelo Boutique and also various installation art projects such as Replay and Kaleidoscope.
In April 2015, an enterprise of middle standing, Uhan Technos that provides IT solutions for logistics distribution, has commissioned a new head office building project. When I visited the office located at Mullae-dong which is an apartment-type factory to meet with my client, I found a typical problem of an apartment-type factory where the environment of the employee working in the center of the work space becomes poor due to the wide width, deep depth and low ceiling of the building.
The site of the new building is located at D17-7, the Magok district, Gangseo-gu and in the northeast corner of an intersection so that it overlooks the south-west direction and has an unfavorable condition as an office. Also, it is highly likely that the buildings will look dwarfed by the proximity of relatively large sites. Nevertheless, the condition of the surrounding terrains completely empty, which have not yet received any other buildings, allows the architect to freely imagine.
In order to design the space with the dignity that is matched to the position of the growing middle class enterprise office, the work space and the service space are divided and connected with the atrium of the first and second floors and the courtyard of the third and fourth floors. The second floor is connected to a bridge out of the atrium and the fourth floor is connected to the other bridge over the courtyard so that each floor has an outdoor resting space. In addition, the depth of the work space is reduced, the ceiling height is increased, and the inner area of the work space faces the atrium and the courtyard, so that a sufficient openness can be felt in the each floor of the work space.
To prevent the intense afternoon sun coming in from the southwest, a series of long hexagonal aluminum sheets are placed exactly towards the southwest corner, the other series of glasses are connected between them. And the glass part of the western facade faces north-west and that of the south facade faces south-east. As a result, when viewed from the southwest corner of the building, the west and south side facade are exactly symmetrical in the form of origami.
The image produced by the form of appearance varies with the view, time, and weather conditions. The exterior of the building, which appears to be folded in the form of an origami, produces varying images depending on the viewer's location. In addition, aluminum sheets and glasses meet the mysterious phenomenon of the sun and the sky and multiply the change even more. Eventually, the shape of the building that does not move constantly produces new images depending on the situation.
Modern society has enabled interactive communication that makes anyone to easily produce and consume images through online media. Images produced through this process are constantly reproduced, consumed and amplified so that they eventually can create meaning and value beyond the text. If the outcome of an architectural work that essentially creates a physical entity can generate different images depending on the environment and situation, an anonymous individual who consumes these images will have different open sources for the reproduction, we can expect a phenomenon that the images can be amplified through the process of consumption and reproduction on the medium and generate different meaning and value.
Ultimately, images in contemporary architecture, especially the images created by the facade, now function as public goods, as open sources for anonymous public communication. By doing so, buildings gain identity to the public, and the public can enjoy buildings as consumers and producers of images.
Architect: MMKM associates
Design team: Min Seohong
Location: 781-1 Magok-dong, Gangseo-gu, Seoul
Programme: Education & Research Facility
Site area: 951.00㎡
Building area: 418.17㎡
Gross floor area: 2,941.97㎡
Building scope: B2, 4F
Building to land ratio: 43.97%
Floor area ratio: 156.57%
Structure: Reinforced Concrete
Exterior finishing: Aluminum Mullion + Low E Glass, Aluminum Sheet, Granite Panel
Interior finishing: Travertine Marble Tile, Granite Panel, Water Paint on Gypsum Board
Structural engineer: Sen Engineering Group
Construction: Daekyung E&C
Mechanical engineer: Dongnam MEC
Electrical engineer: Sejin Elec. Engineering Co., LTD
Design period: May 2015. - Dec. 2015.
Construction period: May 2016. - Oct. 2017.
Construction budget: 4 million dollor
Client: Uhan Technos
photographed by Lee Hanul ㅣ materials provided by MMKM associates