UNStudio wins competition to remodel the hanwha headquarters in seoul
all images courtesy of UNStudio






UNStudio was selected to renovate and remodel the headquarters for the business enterprise, hanwha group, in the cheonggyecheon region of  seoul, south korea. the principle design concept for the 57,696 m2 tower was to reflect hanwha as one of the leading environmental technology providers in the world. in collaboration with arup (sustainability and façade consultant) and loos van vliet (landscape designer), UNStudio has developed the complex to incorporate the values of the environmental conscious company. interior spaces have been appropriated to reduce energy consumption and to maximize daylight, while an animated façade (composed from various LED patterns) draws attention to the building at night.

to accentuate views and daylight, clear insulated glass and aluminum framing have been installed to the exterior





the geometry of the exterior considers user comfort inside the structure and overall reduced energy consumption, by specific placement of the façade panels. the arrangement of the walls also suggests programmatic divisions internally. daylighting within the building is most present to the north, and a reduction of solar impact is achieved by shading, provided by angling in the window glazing. on the south façade, photovoltaic cells are placed on opaque cladding to harvest power for the structure. ben van berkel, of UNStudio, furthers,  ‘by means of a reductive, integrated gesture, the facade design for the hanwha hq implements fully inclusive systems which significantly impact the interior climate of the building, improve user comfort and ensure high levels of sustainability and affordability. through fully integrated design strategies today’s facades can provide responsive and performative envelopes that both contextually and conceptually react to their local surroundings, whilst simultaneously determining interior conditions.’

plantings, wooden furnishings, and a cafe are positioned within the lobby of the the hawha headquaters; integrated by a subtle color scheme






responding to the social activity on the ground level of hanbit avenue, the property shimmers at night by individual LED’s. the pixelated lighting can be interpreted to reference nature, data processing, and energy forms and is formed as part of the overall hanwha branding strategy as a leading environmental technology provider. ‘the design for the hanwha hq media facade aims to avoid an overstated impact. in the evenings, as the mass of the building becomes less apparent, the facade lighting integrates with the night sky, displaying gently shifting constellations of light,’ states ben van berkel.


UNStudio wins competition to remodel the hanwha headquarters in seoul






project info:




client: hanwha life
location: seoul, korea
building surface: 57,696 m2 above ground
building volume: 250,174 m3
building site: 15,333 m2 shared plot
program: renovation of facade, interior of common spaces and lobbies, meeting levels including auditorium and executive areas, redesigning of the landscape
competition phase: ben van berkel, astrid piber with ger gijzen and sontaya bluangtook, shuang zhang, luke tan, yi-ju tseng, albert gnodde, philip knauf
internal consultants: martin zangerl and juergen heinzel.
schematic design: ben van berkel, astrid piber with ger gijzen and martin zangerl, sontaya bluangtook, jooyoun yoon and alberto martinez
landscape consultant and designer: loos van vliet
sustainability consultant: arup hong kong

lighting consultant interior and facade: ag licht