Robert Siegel Architects was invited to compete, as a collaborator with Kunwon International Architects, Planners & Engineers, in a national competition to design new facilities for the 42,000 square meter Korean Foreign Ministry.
Security: Located in the middle of historic Seoul, the building is set back 150 meters from the main street and has a park developed in this area to create a vehicle buffer zone. Public parking is below the park and thus not below the building. Independent elevator runs provide separation between the high ranking Foreign Ministry staff, visitors, general office staff, and service personnel. Secure facilities are provided within a wintergarden at the top of the building with particular attention paid to design of the “Treaty Room” as a secure yet pleasant meeting environment.
Sustainable Design & Energy Efficiency: The environmental control system, fully integrated into the architectural concept for the building, is energy efficient and flexible with low initial cost. The building is clad in a negligee of glass and aluminum that contains operable blinds between glass panes and incorporates a continuous air supply slot at each floor level. By decentralizing the fresh air supply, the requirement for equipment rooms and riser shafts is reduced thereby improving the net to gross efficiency of the building. This system also allows great flexibility in the location of high occupancy areas such as conference rooms. “Chilled beam” cooling panels within the suspended ceiling system induce gravity air circulation in the offices. This passive cooling system achieves considerable savings in energy cost as compared to air based VAV or fan-coil systems, which consume large amounts of fan energy.