Here, on the waterfront of the southern city of Busan, the largest city in South Korea after Seoul, Studio Libeskind created the tallest residential tower in Asia*. The Haeundae Udong mixed-use project also encompasses two other residential towers, a 34-floor high-rise hotel, an office tower, and a three-floor retail building with residential units—altogether a 4 ½ million-square-foot development.
Instead of simply extruding the footprints of these oceanside buildings, Studio Libeskind varied the heights, curved the façades and tapered the profiles to create a sculptural composition on the horizon. The curvilinear geometry serves a sustainability strategy, harvesting and modulating natural light. The concept is a homage to traditional Korean architecture, which often derives its forms from natural beauty—the curl of an ocean wave, the unique composition of a flower petal, or the wind-filled sails of a ship.
The project was completed in 2011.
“Neither frothily hip nor elegantly staid, this new hotel embraces luxury with understated 21st-century chic, and fascinating visual riffs on an earlier epoch.” – Globe and Mail (July 2013)
(*Tallest in year of completion, currently 3rd tallest as of 2017)