NEXEN R&D CENTER
The building is a new R&D Center for Nexen, a leading tire company in South Korea, and recently completed in Magok-special-district which is located at the western edge of Metropolitan Seoul that is currently under development as a hub of cutting-edge industries, hosting many research facilities for South Korea’s leading corporations. The building is equipped a series of multi-disciplinary research and development labs covering all aspects of the company’s technological needs including chemical, heavy-industrial and design. It also houses supporting offices, various types of meeting areas and welfare facilities for researchers. Additionally, the R&D Center serves as a comprehensive promotional venue with an exhibition area and library which is open to the general public.
The design began with optimizing the complex relationships between the required programs while reinventing a new type of workplace suitable for a dense urban context. The building is organized into four zones according to the programs while maximizing connectivity and interactivity between the workspaces and labs. Different structural module systems were utilized to maintain each zone’s functional and spatial requirements. All required spaces are shaped in and enwreathed by a “Dual-Helix” form programmatically. The Dual-Helix integrates a continuous terrace gardens and a courtyard. It creates various type of outdoor communicative space for researchers, and finally completes a unique prototype of a research and workspace in a city filled with green. Starting from the building’s main entrance, the Dual-Helix leads workers and visitors spiraling up vertically through the entire building. The first helix connects secured workplaces and labs with diverse types and sizes of communicative spaces such as an auditorium, board rooms and meeting areas. The second helix, sitting atop of the first helix, provides a series of open landscape that connects all communal zones such as rest areas, lounges, a library, a cafeteria and a gym. All space within the building are closely interconnected promoting the communication between researchers and workers, even visitors, while maintaining functional separation and security. The heart of the building is courtyard, a sun-filled and fluid green, which is for gathering and events for the workers. The unique Dual-Helix form with the courtyard promotes use of outdoor space as a communicative space while it provides more efficient and cooperative work experience for researchers.
The building envelope utilizes passive design strategies to maximize the energy efficiency and to provide comfortable workspaces. The southern and eastern façades feature shading fins that efficiently controls the amount of direct sunlight reaching into the work space. The building could efficiently reduce the cooling load through the glass fins to limit the solar heat gain and a passive ventilation system. The glass fins are strategically shaped to limit the glares from the direct and reflected sunlight to provide comfortable natural lighting to the workspaces. While many of the research activities deal with potentially toxic and harmful materials, the design allows it to be comfortable, efficient and safe.
61,583 sq.ft. (57,171 sq.m.)