HOK-Designed LG Science Park Opens in Seoul

One of the world’s largest corporate research campuses is now open for business. At more than 1 million square metres (the equivalent of 152 football pitches), LG Science Park in Seoul’s Magok District unites staff from eight of LG’s Korean businesses in the same location for the first time. The £2.7 billion project had its official unveiling Friday by LG Group Vice-Chairman and LG Electronics CEO Koo Bon-Joon in a ceremony attended by South Korean President Moon Jae-In.

Ju-Hwan Shin, Managing Director, LG Science Park Business Unit/Construction Drive Division noted,

“LG Science Park is a large R&D facility that was carefully planned to accommodate complex programs and diverse needs and respond to future changes. All design decisions were made from the perspective of researchers, research productivity, and the synergy of fusion. Here LG will open up the right future for mankind.”

HOK’s London studio designed LG Science Park as a next-generation corporate research campus intended to foster collaboration and innovation among scientists and staff from multiple disciplines, including electronics, chemistry, nanotechnology, display, fabrication and life sciences. The 18-building campus will serve as the world research headquarters for the global consumer electronics brand of LG Group and a hub for science and talent in South Korea. The campus could eventually accommodate up to 25,000 resident researchers and support personnel.

Larry Malcic, design principal of HOK’s London office said,

“We designed LG Science Park in close collaboration with LG, echoing in many ways the method in which their consumer products are developed. It was important that the individual buildings feature the same elegance of form as LG’s products. While buildings are tailored to specific scientific activities, they are also highly flexible and can easily adapt to the changing requirements of science.”

HOK created LG Science Park’s masterplan and led overall design work. The campus’s buildings feature a highly sustainable design that is expected to achieve LEED Platinum rating. Two Seoul-based firms also provided design work on the project: Gansam Architects and Chang-jo Architects.

TJ Kim, President, Gansam Architect commented,

“HOK were chosen because their expertise and experience in similar high-profile projects informed their design with visionary thinking expected by LG.  Their design achieved three key goals: flexible lab planning adaptable for ever-changing user needs; inspirational and collaborative workplaces to attract the world’s best researchers; and elegant, timeless design quality.  Thanks to HOK’s efforts and specialist knowledge, our joint achievement has exceeded expectations, and Gansam and HOK plan to continue their successful partnership.”

Construction of LG Science Park took just 33 months and employed more than 6,000 construction workers. Developed concurrently, the campus’s buildings are connected via gardens and linear parks at ground level and by a vast underground service floor in addition to several subterranean parking levels. The gardens and plazas are accessible to the community, and the campus faces a large new public park. A nearby metro station links LG Science Park to central Seoul. Its proximity to the airport makes the campus convenient to international visitors.

An expansive restaurant on the lower level provides informal gathering spaces for researchers and can feed several thousand employees in one lunch sitting. Elsewhere throughout the campus design elements such as flexible spaces, casual meeting areas, seminar suites and bridges provide places for impromptu and structured idea-sharing and collaboration.

The Integrated Support Centre (ISC) at the heart of the LG Science Park incorporates a welcome centre, multipurpose event hall, conference and seminar rooms, exhibition areas, a VIP lounge, daycare facilities, sports and recreation areas, and convenience retail. The ISC directly connects to central fabrication labs, clean rooms and special convergence labs to ensure efficient circulation in the facility.

LG Science Park represents the latest advanced research centre designed by HOK’s Science + Technology practice. Other recent and ongoing projects include The Francis Crick Institute in London, the Cardiff University Translational Research Facility in Wales and University of Glasgow’s Research Hub in Scotland. All of the projects share similar goals of encouraging collaboration in corporate and institutional research by creating flexible environments that promote interaction and lateral thinking.

With offices around the globe, HOK creates a better world through the design of buildings and spaces that respond to the needs people and the environment. HOK designers are rooted in technical excellence, driven by imagination and focused on a solitary goal: to deliver solutions that inspire clients and communities.

Project Team:
HOK: Master planner and lead architect
Gansam Architects: Lead local architect
Chang-jo Architects: Local laboratory architect
LG-Toyo: Local engineer
WSP: Structural, fire, vertical transportation and facade access engineer
Vanderweil Engineers: Mechanical/Electrical/Plumbing engineer
Arup: Logistics
Carr & Angier: Theatre consultants
Foodesco Ltd: Foodservice consultant
SERVEONE: Project manager