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Trutec Office Building

Barkow Leibinger Architects

Trutec Office Building
By Redazione The Plan -

For European-trained architects, building within a specific environment or urban context is a major concern whatever the brief. Now that architectural practices have spread their wings to all corners of the globe, however, the mindset of architects for whom “location” is synonymous with history and consolidated building techniques faces new challenges. In Asia, and especially in the digital media capitals of the world, place, history and traditional building methods may seem irrelevant, transitory or imported from outside. Here location and context contain but do not necessarily define architecture. The 11-storey, 55 m high Trutec Building for offices and showrooms and a five-level underground car park stands in one of the last undeveloped areas of Seoul. The striking fractal-geometry, reflective glass cladding is mounted on a dense modular grid (height 4.2 m and base 2.7 m). Part opaque and part transparent, the glass panes of each module form a prism, a crystal jutting 20 cm from the vertical façade, making the interior space look larger. The prisms reflect light and images making each façade a fragmented, abstract surface constantly interacting with the changing light and glass façades of nearby buildings. The geometric construction of the modules alternates and juxtaposes the planes of the glass panels, rotating their axes to create polygonal contours. About 80% of the elevations are clad with hundreds of these polygonal shaped glass panes. The surrounding environment and neighbouring buildings are reflected as indistinct images - pixels on the surface of a distorting mirror. From inside, the windows offer multiple vistas and perspectives, as if looking into a kaleidoscope. The volume containing stairs and lifts has been placed on the east side of the building to avoid problems of exposure in the event of future constructions rising nearby. This façade is clad with dark zinc panels. Large deep longitudinal volumes run along the street-side section and on the...

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