Designed and built by the Samoo Architects and Engineering firm, the Glass Tower of Seoul, located at Daechi-dong in Gangnam area, is one of the most prominent and beautiful buildings in the South Korean capital, featuring a height of 118.26 meters and 40 floors (32 above ground and 8 below ground).
Its construction was finished in 1995 and it is the very embodiment of current Grade-A buildings, with the added advantage of being very near the COEX Mall, a mega complex made up by a convention center, a number of exhibition halls and shopping centers and a vast assortment of 5 star hotels including the Park Hyatt Seoul and Intercontinental Hotel.
It was primarily conceived as an office building, and a high percentage of his windows overlook the Han River and Seoul downtown, offering riveting sights of them.
Since its inauguration, a number of important firms have had bureaus for many years inside this appealing edifice oozing modernist architecture, among which can be highlighted:
- Neoplux (an investment company of the Doosan Group, one of the top ten conglomerates in Korea).
- Atheneum ( a reference-class firm excelling at properly advising leading professionals to achieve real-time access to the highest quality information anytime and anywhere.
- Hines ( a global real estate investment, development and management firm founded in 1957, with a presence in 189 cities in 20 countries and $96 billion of assets under management)
- Hantok Chemicals Co., Ltd, international leader in the manufacture of semiconductor developing agents and Tetra Methyl Ammonium Hydroxide.
- Parexel Korea Co. Ltd, a subsidiary of Parexel International, a highly experience firm in the scope of guiding biopharmaceutical and medical device companies, qorking in 85 cities of 56 countries with the steady aim of attaining that new products can reach the patients as fast as possible).
- SummitView (an alternative investment firm with a Stock Management Division and an Equity Investment Division).
And 2016 marked a major turning point when The Executive Center launched its fourth serviced office center in Seoul at Glass Tower, on its Level 20, providing flexible and cost-effective workplace solutions for a comprehensive range of bussinesses, being perfectly fitted with Herman Miller ergonomic modular furniture, state-of-the-art meeting rooms with the most updated technologies, stylish breakout areas, cutting-edge conference facilities and business concierge services, it all within the biggest city in South Korea, boasting the world´s fourth largest metropolitan economy in terms of GDP, which has become an international financial hub.
Needless to say that the elegance of this building built in late XX Century, but whose conceptual keynotes hark back to Mies van der Rohe´s 1921 Friedrichstrasse Crystal Tower Project in Berlin — pioneering the unprecedented idea for the time of a crystal tower with fully glazed exterior walls supported by a steel skeleton, freeing the outer walls from their load-bearing function and the first to imagine such a building without a sructural or decorative frame of masonry, conceiving a more transparent than solid tower — and the 1922 Model of Glass Skyscraper Project (particularly the latter one, photographed by Kurt Rehbein which was a milestone for its revolutionary handling of a multiply curved form as well as the use of glass instead of traditional wall material) is truly breathtaking, in the ame way as its linking to Bauhaus and Expressionist architecture fostering innovative drive with glass as a symbol of purity and renewal.
Text and Photo: José Manuel Serrano Esparza