morphosis has completed a 820,000-square-foot research and development facility for one of south korea’s leading textile manufacturers. the design features flexible laboratory facilities, administrative offices, and active social spaces that encourage greater interaction and exchange across the company departments. meanwhile, a striking façade is intended to demonstrate the company’s commitment to innovation, technology, and sustainability.

morphosis kolon
image by jasmine park, courtesy of morphosis architects

 

 

the project was commissioned by the kolon group, a diverse corporation with 38 divisions that cover R&D, primary material manufacturing, and product construction. dubbed the ‘kolon one & only tower’, 15% of the new facility is devoted to active social spaces, 55% is laboratory space, while the remainder comprises offices.

morphosis kolon
image by jasmine park, courtesy of morphosis architects

 

 

‘working with a company like kolon, that also has innovation at its core, allowed us to really push the limits of materials, technology, and design to create a building that is visually striking and sustainable,’ explains morphosis founding principal thom mayne. ‘from the outset, our team worked in collaboration with kolon to realize their vision for this new space that will serve the research needs of the company well into the future.’

morphosis kolon
image by jasmine park, courtesy of morphosis architects

 

 

kolon is one of the first firms to move its operations to magok, a new hub for technology and light industry. the five-acre project folds towards an adjacent park, providing passive shading to the lower floors. bridging the three extending laboratory wings, this folding volume contains conference rooms and social spaces while the street-level floor will be occupied by retail and exhibition galleries.

morphosis kolon
image by jasmine park, courtesy of morphosis architects

 

 

‘the new research and development facility for kolon sets the standard for sustainable design and construction in the emerging magok district,’ said project principal eui-sung yi. ‘inspired by kolon’s severe-weather layered performance wear, our team worked with engineers and fabricators to apply a performance driven series of vertical layers to our design that challenges the conventional approach to sunshade design and enhances the building’s sustainability.’

morphosis kolon
image by roland halbe, courtesy of morphosis architects

 

 

the distinctive brise-soleil system on the main, west-facing façade features an interconnected array of sunshades that form the monolithic, outer skin. the appearance is comparable to a woven fabric — a reference to kolon’s research in textiles, as well as a symbol of collaboration between the company’s departments. one of kolon’s own high-tech fabrics, aramid, has been used to dramatically increase the material’s tensile strength.

morphosis kolon
image by jasmine park, courtesy of morphosis architects

 

 

a pedestrian atrium, 40 meters tall and 100 meters long, acts as the building’s social center. a grand staircase serves practical functions but also acts a vertical courtyard for informal, casual gatherings as well as end-of-year marquee ceremonies. the kolon one & only tower is on track to achieve LEED gold certification, with sustainable measures that include: green roofs, photovoltaics and geothermal design, recycled materials, and utilizing a bubble deck slab that reduces the amount of concrete used by 30 percent. see designboom’s previous coverage of the project here.

morphosis kolon
image by jasmine park, courtesy of morphosis architects

morphosis kolon
image by jasmine park, courtesy of morphosis architects

morphosis kolon
image by jasmine park, courtesy of morphosis architects

morphosis kolon
image by roland halbe, courtesy of morphosis architects

morphosis kolon
image by roland halbe, courtesy of morphosis architects

morphosis kolon
image by jasmine park, courtesy of morphosis architects