Kohn Pedersen Fox New Seoul Skyscraper Will Sport Striking Cantilevered Pool
June 8, 2012
Now trending in (conceptual) skyscraper design: exuberant “feature” pools. One need not go any further than the spectacularly bad idea that was the “swimming pool balcony” or even the vertiginous “infinite pool” that straddles the top of Moshe Safdie’s ridiculous Marina Bay complex to get the idea. These pool designs are in themselves intended to be singular formal moments, a type of gratuitous form-on-form, if you will, where the shape of the pool either riffs off of–and, thus, further accentuates–the so-called ‘defining’ flourishes of the tower to which it is appended, or is so formally foreign to its host structure so as to constitute an architectural anomaly.
The cantilevered pool that graces the design of Kohn Pedersen Fox‘s new skyscraper, “Block H”, for Seoul’s planned Yongsan International Business District is more of the latter. Though the tower’s form is said to be generated according to the “growth logic of crystals”, whereby the structure’s expansion upwards is consolidated in a mosaic of module-like setbacks and terraces, the pool is not the “natural outgrowth” it is presented as. Instead, it’s set apart from the rest of the tower, a kind of show piece and exclusive platform meant, like most architectural renderings of this kind, to attract eyes (and buyers).
Still, it’s hard not to appreciate the daring. The checkered, zig-zag pool juts out from the side of the 385-meter tower, cantilevered some two-thirds of the way up the structure. The development will contain 167,225 square meters of space that will accommodate a 5 star hotel and luxury residences, not to mention a bevy of amenities, including shopping and entertainment districts, offices, and public spaces. Block H is just one of the many skyscrapers that planned for the Yongsan masterplan, authored by Daniel Libeskind and which gathers together the work of 19 international architects, such as BIG’s # tower and MVRDV controversial “Cloud” design.
[All images: Kohn Pedersen Fox, via dezeen]