February 26, 2007
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Image courtesy Asymptote.
Asymptote Architecture is feeling big these days thanks to a competition win in Busan, South Korea. The New York–based firm’s design for the Millennium Tower World Business Centre features a three-pronged skyscraper that stands 560 meters tall—a height specified by competition organizers that’s expected to make this skyscraper the tallest in Asia.
“We made a decision not to do a single monolithic tower, which the other two competitors did,” says principal Hani Rashid, “but rather to introduce urban space up into the midsection of the building.” The lower portion, which will include 30 stories of office space, is capped by an indoor/outdoor public plaza and sky lobby. From there, visitors will ascend one of three tapered towers devoted to separate hotel, luxury residential, and office programs.
The competition was organized by the Busan International Architectural Culture Festival, and was sponsored by Busan Metropolitan City and the Solomon Group, a private company that will be responsible for developing the building. It is part of Busan’s Millennium Projects, which involve significant real estate development to further the city’s goal of becoming an international hub for business and culture. “From Dubai to Shanghai to Taipei, towers are a way that these cities, which are remarkable economic engines, are showing their prowess,” Rashid says.
A formal completion date and budget are still to be determined, but Rashid speculates that the earliest the building will be completed is 2010. Foreign Office Architects and UN Studio also participated in the design competition.