Designed by HOK, LG Science Park in Seoul connects scientists and researchers via interconnected buildings, landscaped plazas and a 2,000-seat food court—with more to come by 2022.
Excerpted from Property Week:
In April, South Korean conglomerate LG Group opened the doors of its $3.5 billion LG Science Park, which, at 11.9 million square feet, is the largest corporate research campus in the world. When construction work on the site completes in 2022, its 26 buildings will be home to nearly 25,000 employees.
The aim? To bring scientists from 10 of LG’s affiliates together for the first time to work collaboratively in a stimulating environment with all the amenities they need.
Property Week took a tour of the park and spoke to the people behind the gargantuan scheme to find out more about the challenges involved in undertaking such a huge, technical project and what they hope it will achieve for LG and for the city as a whole.
Creating a central hub for LG scientists—whose disciplines include electronics, chemistry, nanotechnology, fabrication and life sciences—to work together was a long-held ambition of the company’s former chairman, Koo Bon-Moo, who passed away in May shortly after the campus opened.
“Building LG was the chairman’s life’s work, and it was his dream to bring together the different affiliates,” says Larry Malcic, design principal for HOK’s London office, which designed the scheme along with Korean firms Gansam and Chang-jo.
“Because LG works on so many different types of science, he wanted to converge them all together around one single aim—improving people’s lives.”
LG launched a design competition for the project in 2012, and the first phase—which encompassed the first 20 buildings planned for the site—was constructed in just 33 months.
The campus is a mix of office space and laboratory space, with labs divided between ‘wet’ (where scientists test chemicals or biological material) and ‘dry’ (where they mostly work on computers). Because the projects LG works on are changing all the time, the space needed to be highly flexible and dividing it up in such a way was a challenge for the architects. In the end, around 50 percent of the total floor space was designed to be flexible and because of this much of the lab space has an almost temporary feel, arranged in a modular layout with partitions that can be changed depending on need.