Plans Change Again for World's Most Expensive Building

      November 28, 2011 11:26

      The developers of the Yongsan Landmark Tower have hastily altered the plans to make it Korea's tallest building. The skyscraper in the downtown Seoul business district was originally intended to be 100 stories and 500 m high, but the developers have decided to add 11 more stories and 120 m to make it the tallest building in Korea.

      Already it is expected to be the most expensive building in the world per square meter once complete, and now it will be the world's second tallest after the 828-m Burj Khalifa in Dubai.

      The developers also decided to change the name from Landmark Tower to Triple One standing for 111 -- the ostensible number of floors.

      From left, artist's impressions of Triple One, DMC Landmark Tower, and Lotte Super Tower

      There are three other skyscrapers being built in Seoul that will be more than 100 stories high -- the Lotte Super Tower in Jamsil, Global Business Center next to Seoul Forest and the DMC Landmark Tower in Sangam in northwestern Seoul, which was expected to be the tallest building in Korea at 133 stories and 640 m. But the developers of the DMC Landmark Tower are scaling back their plans citing high construction costs and a low occupancy rate due to the economic slump.

      Construction for the Lotte Super Tower (123 stories, 555 m) began in June and is slated for completion in the second half of 2015. The Global Business Center (110 stories, 540 m) is being built by Hyundai Motor Group and is scheduled to be completed in 2016.

      Yongsan Triple One was originally intended to be 150 stories high (665 m) when the blueprint was finished back in 2007. But the global financial crisis the following year put the project on the back burner for the next four years and prompted the developers to lower the height to fewer than 100 floors. Eventually, KORAIL, which owns a majority stake in the Yongsan area development project, acquired Triple One for W4.16 trillion in September and changed the plans again (US$1=W1,165).

      Most of the building will be office space. The floors that are being added will accommodate a roof-top garden, observatory and restaurant.

      Italian star architect Renzo Piano (74), who built the New York Times Tower in the U.S., is in charge of the new design. Construction will be handled by Samsung Corporation, which built the Burj Khalifa and Taipei 101. An insider said if Piano completes the design by the end of this year, construction will start in 2013.

      Triple One was estimated to cost W1.4 trillion to build or W12.1 million per 3.3 sq.m, making it the most expensive in the world, but that is expected to rise even further due to the height extension.

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