One of the world’s largest corporate research campuses is now open for business.
LG Science Park in Seoul’s Magok District unites staff from eight of LG’s Korean businesses in the same location for the first time. The 11.9-million-sq.-ft. campus can accommodate up to 25,000 employees in 18 buildings. The US$3.74 billion project had its official unveiling April 20 by LG Group Vice-Chairman and LG Electronics CEO Koo Bon-Joon in a ceremony attended by South Korean President Moon Jae-in.
“LG Science Park is a large R&D facility that was carefully planned to accommodate complex programs with diverse needs and respond to future changes,” said Ju-Hwan Shin, managing director, LG Science Park Business Unit/Construction Drive Division. “All design decisions were made from the perspective of researchers, with research productivity and the synergy of fusion in mind. Here, LG will chart the right future for mankind.”
HOK designed LG Science Park as a next-generation corporate research campus intended to foster collaboration and innovation among scientists and staff from multiple disciplines, including electronics, chemistry, nanotechnology, display, fabrication and life sciences. The campus will serve as the world research headquarters for the global consumer electronics brand of LG Group and a hub for science and talent in South Korea. The campus could eventually accommodate up to 25,000 resident researchers and support personnel.
“We designed LG Science Park in close collaboration with LG, echoing the method in which their consumer products are developed,” said Larry Malcic, design principal of HOK’s London office. “It was important that the individual buildings feature the same elegance of form as LG’s products. While buildings are tailored to specific scientific activities, they are also highly flexible and can easily adapt to the changing requirements of science.”
HOK created LG Science Park’s masterplan and led the overall design work. The campus’s buildings feature a highly sustainable design that is expected to achieve a LEED Platinum rating. Two Seoul-based firms, Gansam Architects and Chang-jo Architects, also provided design work on the project.
“HOK was chosen because their expertise with similar high-profile projects informed their design and brought the visionary thinking expected by LG,” added TJ Kim, president, Gansam Architects. “Their design achieved three key goals: flexible lab planning adaptable for ever-changing user needs; inspirational and collaborative workplaces to attract the world’s best researchers; and an elegant, timeless design quality. Thanks to HOK’s efforts and specialist knowledge, our joint achievement has exceeded expectations, and Gansam and HOK plan to continue their successful partnership.”
Construction of LG Science Park took just 33 months and employed more than 6,000 construction workers. Developed concurrently, the campus’s buildings are connected via gardens and linear parks at ground level and by a vast underground service floor in addition to several subterranean parking levels. The gardens and plazas are accessible to the community, and the campus faces a large new public park. A nearby metro station links LG Science Park to central Seoul. Its proximity to the airport makes the campus convenient to international visitors.
An expansive restaurant on the lower level provides informal gathering spaces for researchers and can feed several thousand employees in one lunch sitting. Throughout the campus, flexible spaces, casual meeting areas, seminar suites and bridges provide places for impromptu and structured idea sharing and collaboration.
The Integrated Support Centre (ISC) at the heart of the LG Science Park incorporates a welcome center, multipurpose event hall, conference and seminar rooms, exhibition areas, a VIP lounge, daycare facilities, sports and recreation areas, and convenience retail. The ISC directly connects to central fabrication labs, clean rooms and special convergence labs.