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SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA-The project of what will be the tallest skyscraper in Asia is one step closer to completion. This week New York City-based Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates finished its conceptual design for the Lotte Super Tower 123.

KPF won the assignment earlier this year, beating out two other companies vying for the job. KPF design principal James von Klemperer tells GlobeSt.com his company’s design won because, “We made a point of balancing powerful imagery with strong constructional logic. Any developer of a project this big needs to know that the building makes economic sense.”

KPF’s design is sleek, slender and cone-shaped. “The tower’s uninterrupted curvature and gentle tapered form is reflective of Korean artistry. The seam that runs from top to bottom of the structure gestures toward the old center of city,” says von Klemperer. “Elegance of form was one of our prime objectives, following Lotte’s desire to bestow a beautiful monument to the capital city skyline.”

Von Klemperer says this building is a first for several reasons. It will be the first super tall built in Korea, even though Korean companies have built such buildings in other countries like Dubai and Kuala Lumpur. The building will also be the first to seamlessly contain all the major commercial real estate property types in one structure, creating a kind of vertical city. “The program is the most varied of super tall programs. Instead of two or three major uses, this building has five distinct vertical zones: retail; office; residential; hotel and observation.”

KPF plans will utilize the first six floors for retailers. Floors seven through 60 will houses offices, while floors 61 through 85 will be residential space. On top of that, from floors 86 through 119, the seven-star luxury hotel will sit. The top floors will be public space including an entertainment area and observation deck.

The owner and developer, the Lotte Group has already achieved all the major zoning approvals for the project. Pre-construction has already begun on the site, with excavation nearly complete. Plans call for the creation of the foundation to begin in January, according to Von Klemperer. KPF plans to construct the building according to Silver LEED accreditation standards.

When construction completes in 2014 the 123-story building will be the second tallest in the world and the tallest Asian building. There are four other super tall building projects in the works here, although the Lotte project is the most advanced of them all.

While so many companies have halted all new development projects throughout the world, von Klemperer tells GlobeSt.com is it interesting to see the project moving ahead at such a time.” Aside from the fact that Lotte is cash rich, they have explained that the project is part of a chaebol stimulus plan. In other words, the top Korean conglomerates are pitching in to get the economy back on track,” he says.

Lotte plans to utilize some of the office portion as its new headquarters facility.

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