May 19, 2023 12:45
The mid-rise Millennium Hilton Hotel in downtown Seoul will be razed and replaced with a 38-story twin skyscraper that could block the scenic view of Mr. Nam if the developer has its way.
IGIS Asset Management, which owns the Hilton, recently submitted plans to Jung District Office seeking to demolish the 23-story steel-and-glass block and replace it with a 38-story building now that height restrictions have been eased.
According to the Seoul Metropolitan Government, IGIS proposes in turn to create more green space in the city. The city now eases height limits for builders who take part in metropolitan efforts to green the capital's concrete wastes.
But the hotel sits atop a 30 m hill, which means the new building will stand 180 m tall. IGIS claims the hotel is already sprawled out horizontally and blocks a substantial part of Mt. Nam, so building a structure with a gap between two wings would improve views of the mountain.
However, the footprint of the proposed building is even bigger than the existing one, leaving only the slim gap between towers, and the proposed green spaces are either squished behind the building or on the terraced rooftops of the new structure.
Critics say they are inaccessible to pedestrians there and would simply become amenities for occupants of the building. IGIS has promised to create public access to the green spaces.
The blueprint is still at the planning stage and must be approved by the city government. A Seoul city official said, "This is only a plan that IGIS Asset Management has proposed, and nothing has been decided. We don't automatically offer incentives just because a builder offers to create green spaces."
One architect said, "The incentives were created to provide more green spaces for the public, so it is improper to seek incentives by laying out green spaces that no one can get to. It won't be easy to win planning permission."
- Copyright © Chosunilbo & Chosun.com