Modern Yongsan Tower of Culture
Designed by REX, the master plan for the Yongsan Economic Zone proposes a centralized, cultural node that complements the draw and mass of SOM’s Yongsan Landmark Tower. By balancing the Landmark Tower on one side with cultural programs on the other, the matrix of office and residential buildings is energized between commercial and cultural poles.
As individual elements including an art center, an arts magnet school, a broadcasting studio, a congress center, a museum, and a performing arts theater the cultural programs are too small to generate critical mass.
It would be inappropriate for a single architect to design every cultural institution for an urban development of 2.2 million m².
Design beyond a certain scale thrives on—if not outright demands—multiple authorship and expertise. The single-authored alternative all too often yields oppressive homogeneity. REX therefore determined the Tower of Culture’s concept, infrastructure, and overarching iconography, but in the interests of genuine multiple-authorship, required each cultural component to be designed by other architects.