The new research and development centre for Hankook Tire was unveiled in Daejeon. The new facility forms an integral part of Hankook Tire’s new vision for a corporate culture and brand, and the 96,328-square-metre R+D centre aims to attract the industry’s top talent, providing an inspirational place to work, with light filled offices, advanced laboratories and dynamic social spaces to nurture a culture of openness and innovation.
Located in the heart of Asia’s ‘Silicon Valley’, the building is an expression of Hankook Tire’s commitment to technology, quality and rigorous research. It lays emphasis on communication within the workplace, with central meeting pods for spontaneous team meetings. The centrepiece of the state-of-the-art facility are the tyre testing and research laboratories, on display to invited visitors and staff. The architectural vision was to create a sleek, contemporary and mysterious building with a floating silver roof.
Analysis of their existing facilities provided an insight into the testing spaces, which ranged in their requirements from isolation pits to double-height spaces to accommodate specialist equipment. The building’s section was key to resolving this complex spatial puzzle. The building has a dynamic, integrated plan that promotes visual connections between different areas, and the arrangement is highly flexible to enable future changes in use. In profile, the levels step up from four to six storeys, in response to the height restriction imposed by an adjacent government site.
The research spaces extend along a top-lit central spine that runs from the restaurant and entrance in the south to the staff accommodation to the north. Glazed oval meeting pods are suspended within the full-height space, which acts as a light well, drawing daylight through the building. The circulation strategy creates a natural divide between public areas and more sensitive product development zones.
A spectacular lobby functions as an exhibition space for the latest product range, with views into the testing areas and the parkland outside. The centre has attained a LEED ‘Gold’ rating, and integrates a number of sustainable design strategies. Waste heat from the research and development centre is used to heat the adjacent dormitory building, which accommodates visitors and staff, and a lake at the southern entrance to the site harvests rainwater for use in cooling. Source by Foster + Partners.
- Location: Daejeon, South Korea
- Architect: Foster + Partners
- Foster + Partners Design Team: Norman Foster, David Nelson, Spencer de Grey, Nigel Dancey, Giles Robinson, Iwan Jones, Stefano Cesario, Miguel Costa, Sanhita Chaturvedi, Joost Heremans,Chris Johnstone, Sharat Kaicker, Kristi Krueger, Angel Sanchez Lazcano, Huasop Lee, Sarah Lister, Eva Palacios, Isidora Radenkovic, Paola Nena Sakits, Nicola Scaranaro, Milena Stojkovic, Vincent Westbrook
- Foster + Partners Engineering Team: Roger Ridsdill Smith, Piers Heath, Emma Clifford, Anis Abou Zaki, Ricardo Candel Gurrea, Dimitra Kyrkou, Carole Frising, Rob Slater
- Local Collaborating Architect: SAMOO
- Structural Engineers: CS Structural Engineering
- Civil Engineers: Saegil
- Electrical Engineers: SEC
- Services Consultant: HIMEC Corporation
- Construction Managers: ITM Corporation
- Lighting: Alto
- Interiors: Dawon
- Landscape Consultant: Solto Associates
- Fire Consultant: Korea Fire Protection UBIS
- Sustainability Consultant: Samoo
- Sustainability: LEED Gold certification
- Client: Hankook Tire Co. Ltd.
- Project owner: Mr Cho, Hyun-bum CSFO & CCMO
- Total Site Area: 70,387m2
- Area (Gross): 96,328m2
- Completion: October 2016
- Photographs: Nigel Young, Courtesy of Foster + Partners
Article by Marco Rinaldi