When asked to build a new headquarters for the Korea Hydro Nuclear Power Company (KHNP), Haeahn Architecture was given no easy task. Gyeongju is a very important site for South Koreans - both historically and ecologically - and the company itself is dabbling in controversial research as worldwide support for nuclear energy wanes. So the firm opted for a careful mixed-use design that is partially covered with a green roof and makes room for energy-generating solar panels.
The base of the building is dedicated to welfare programs while the offices stack vertically, creating a spiraling mass without a tower. Podiums branch out from this central program and contain fitness facilities, meeting rooms, lobbies and an auditorium. Outdoor walkways that lead to the internal courtyard separate these functions and the building will rely at least partially on solar for its energy needs.
A strong north-facing, perforated metal outer facade allows the building to breath while still protecting it from vicious winds, while the sheltered inner facade opens brightly to a large central courtyard. A pattern in the metal resembles the Emille Bell – one of Gyeongju’s most revered historical treasures. Meanwhile, controlled shading allows natural light to enter the vast building without too much solar gain. The project incorporates a wide variety of green spaces, including a garden that merges onto the auditorium’s roof!
Via Arch Daily