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The new headquarters for Amorepacific, Korea’s largest beauty company, is located in the centre of Seoul at a site which has been occupied by the company since 1956. The site is situated next to a former US military zone that is being transformed into the spacious public Yongsan Park and a business district, which is part of a masterplan representing the largest high-rise development in Korea that will substantially alter the urban fabric of the Yongsan district.

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The form of the building is both abstract and gestural. Focusing on a single, clear volume, the proportions of the building have been carefully developed around a central courtyard to maximize the effectiveness of natural ventilation and daylight.

Three large urban openings connect this central void with the exterior surroundings, providing both dramatic views over the city and the mountains in the distance. As ‘hanging gardens’, these openings give scale and allow nature to extend from the adjacent park into all parts of the building.

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The design elaborates the social, cultural and professional ambitions of the company, combining the workplace with other communal activities. The building offers itself to the city by being elevated above its public entrance platform, creating a generous, public atrium entrance hall.

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The courtyard situated above represents the communal centre of the company workplace, with the elevated gardens providing recreational space for those who use the building. A rich mixture of public amenities around the atrium, such as a museum, auditorium, library, restaurants and childcare facilities, ensure that the building is not only an efficient headquarters, but also the public face of a vital company, embedded in the growing metropolis of Seoul.

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'Rooftop solar panels' of the new headquarters

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The façades with their diaphanous brise-soleil cladding not only facilitate the environmental performance of the building by providing shading and reducing heat load, but also give the building a coherent and solid yet at the same time open and light form. Metaphorically, the new building echoes the aspirations of a modern organisation, mediating between local and global, private and public, collective and individual, formal and informal, and in doing so establishing its dynamic identity.

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Date: 2010-2017 Gross floor area: 216,000 m² Client: Amorepacific Corporation Architect: David Chipperfield Architects Berlin Partner: David Chipperfield, Christoph Felger (Design lead), Harald Müller Project architect: Hans Krause Contact architect: HAEAHN Architecture, KESSON Site supervision: Kunwon Engineeing Co. Ltd. General contractor: Hyundai Engineering & Construction Design engineers: Arup Deutschland GmbH Landscape architect: SeoAhn

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Architect: David Chipperfield

David Chipperfield studied at Kingston School of Art and the Architectural Association in London. After graduating he worked at the practices of Douglas Stephen, Richard Rogers and Norman Foster. He established David Chipperfield Architects in 1985 in London and opened further practices in Berlin, Milan and Shanghai.

David Chipperfield has taught and lectured worldwide. He has been Professor of Architecture at the Staatliche Akademie der Bildenden Künste in Stuttgart, and Visiting Professor at several schools of architecture in Austria, Italy, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States.

In 2009 David Chipperfield was awarded the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany and in 2010 he was knighted for services to architecture in the UK and Germany by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. In 2012 David Chipperfield was Curator of the 13th International Archi-tecture Exhibition of the Venice Biennale.

David Chipperfield

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