Projects by Samoo Architects & Engineers

"Korean Wave" and a mega-complex with an eco-park for frogs

One of the Jury members of the IFC masterplanning competition is Myung-Gi Sohn, architect and president of Samoo Architects & Engineers. The company was founded in 1976 and now is one of the leading architectural bureaus in South Korea. It operates internationally with offices in Seoul, New York, Austin, Abu Dhabi, Doha, Shanghai and Hanoi.

© Samoo Architects & Engineers

D-Cube City

One of the bureau's key projects is D-Cube City in Seoul. This is a 35 hectares mixed-use development project which includes residential, office, commercial and cultural buildings. According to Samoo Architects & Engineers, mixed-use development projects “demand of their designers a role as overall coordinator more so than the traditional role as designer”. The project boasts a well thought-through traffic system: many stores open out onto the adjacent parks and gardens, which helps to lead visitor streams from recreation to retail zones and vise versa. An interesting fact about the construction: as works were underway, an endangered frog species was found on the site, and after discovering that the proposed development site was the frogs’ habitat, the designers introduced an ecology park into the landscape design.

© Samoo Architects & Engineers

New York Korean Center

A major challenge in designing the Korean Cultural Center in New York was to animate the north-facing site within the context of the rigidity of the New York City grid. The final design embodies the modern Korean sensibility of innovation in harmony with tradition, architects say. A multi-layered glass facade creates a screen wall that illuminates three sculptural figures within. Each of the three figures has a distinct material: polished ceramic, rough terracotta, and milled wood – representing Heaven, Earth, and Humanity respectively. The street level of Korea Center creates a public space focusing on exhibits related to current trends in Korean culture, including movies, music, food, technology, and TV dramas – a phenomenon known as “Korean Wave.”

© Samoo Architects & Engineers