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Foster completes Korean tyre research facility

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Foster + Partners has taken the wraps off this £155 million research facility for South Korean tyre manufacturer Hankook 

ARCHITECT’S VIEWPROJECT DATA • PLANS • SECTIONS

The 96,328m2 research and development centre provides 90 laboratories for more than 1,000 research engineers in Hankook’s ‘Silicon Valley’.

The building’s research spaces run along a top-lot centre spine running from the entrance and restaurant at the south to staff accommodation in the north. This full-height space also features suspended glazed meeting pods and the lobby also acts and an exhibition space, displaying the tyre manufacturer’s products.

According to practice partner Iwan Jones, the facility was designed to ‘reinvent the Hankook Tire’s image and to create an integrated working environment for the office and laboratory staff.’

Architect’s view

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.

Ground floor plan

Ground floor plan

Ground floor plan

Level 4 plan

Level 4 plan

Level 4 plan

Roof plan

Roof plan

Roof plan

Long section

Long section

Long section

Short section 

Short section

Short section

Project data

Location Daejon, South Korea
Type of project Research and development facility
Architect Foster + Partners
Client Hankook
Cost £155 million 
Area 96,328m2

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