SEOUL – London-based studio DaeWha Kang Design has given a 1980s office block a facelift in Seoul, Korea. Inspired by the concept of biophilia, the firm envisioned a workspace which combines contemporary material processes with organic principles. The architectural design feature stems from a column on the ground floor – described by the architect as a ‘silver tree’ – that is wrapped in stainless steel planes, mimicing the form of a tree and appearing to support the building. The patterns produced by the tree-like configuration continue to tessellate up the façades. A warping effect is created with the use of carefully crafted granite panels of varying grey hues.
It was not only the façades that were transformed in the development – the whole building saw an organisation shift, inspired by employee well-being and productivity through design. At street level, a carpark was replaced by an indoor/outdoor café which offers a social space for employees and creates a welcoming entrance to the offices. A dedicated meeting centre was developed in the basement, so that the upper four floors could be utilised as workspaces, allowing employees to benefit from the light and airy interiors. Finally, a retreat from hectic office life was created in the form of a roof terrace, where employees can go to do yoga, relax or just enjoy the city views.