Across an intensive study of the vegetation and its colouring, we have based our entire master plan under the large possibility of varying the colour four times a year. Four different typologies of flowers, actually, will colour the entire landscape cyclically, every four months, hence revealing the current season: red tulips during spring, yellow freesia during summer, blue iris during the fall, and orange narcissus during winter. These coloured threads will cover the master plan from south to north, accentuating the visual perspectives that will accompany the visitor in a thread of colour from red to orange, with a constant for the rest of the master plan which is the green colour.
One important aspect of the design concept is to express a sense of fluidity and flexibility throughout the City tower, yet to propose not just a landmark for the City of Incheon but an ever changing sign, an image that represents the city and its instances. The inner life of the tower will be projected on it's outer façade, allowing for a strong visual morphosis and colourful transitions. Fluidity will also be expressed through form on the upper, more flexible spaces of the tower, such spaces as the auditorium, the rock climbing wall, and the Zero Gravity Zone where people may take a moment to challenge the laws of space, time and weight. The shapes of these spaces will be fluid, and they will be a literal interpretation of the birth of Venus, rising from a vast sea into a new world.
The building envelope has been first conceived as a sculptural artifact. To translate the free (fluid) form into a defined geometry that can be build with today's construction methods and within a reasonable budget is one of the key challenges for a unique project like this one. The building envelope embraces the City Tower like an organic woven piece of cloth with variable loop sizes. There is no differentiation between façade and structure. The whole building envelope has been merged into one continuous sculptural element composed of two different systems: an external glass plane and an internal organic concrete mesh. This double skin envelop has been carefully crafted to give the building an almost fluid appearance of soft transition from concave and convex, from transparent to opaque. The two façade systems converge and reject one another in a subtle way, offering ever changing perspectives for the beholder both inside and outside the building premises. The structure the holds together these two façade layers functions as a homogenous mesh of concrete and glass panes, giving structural unity and coherence throughout the concept building design.
The concept design for the master plan is to make the City Tower a portion of landscape conceived as an urban park_infrastructure , a container for the different programme, which, in our opinion, it is not only a place for leisure, but a social centre with multiple responsibilities. Tower and landscape are to be intended as elements constituting the same programmatic structure. The building is not an isolated and remote realm, but, on the contrary, is an exceptional space which interacts with its surroundings in a way that can transform its perception when we look at it from the inside, as well as from the outside. It is not only about lightness, but it is also a matter of fluidity and different transparencies. The importance of this tower is its geographic location, its being part of the territory, its being landscape. The building integrates the landscape and becomes a mark on the territory, a landmark. The proposed master plan for the City Tower is conceived as an artificial landscape that blurs with its natural surroundings. The surroundings and the over imposed synthetic landscape interweave and interact with each other; the consequence of this topographic manipulation synthesizes the two systems into a consistent, progressive and innovative identity.
The geometric form of the City Tower is regulated by the actual operations and intersections of its systems: the lake, the different infrastructures, the land and the building, providing a flexible envelope open to continues change. The reorganization of the site topography would be responding to internal dynamics connected to programmatic imperatives and to the external interaction of the two topographies, those being the natural and the artificial. The resulting artificial landscape is characterized by a well defined distinctive skyline, a landmark which will become a pole of identity for the city of Incheon and for the Korean cultural heritage in general. Over many years now we have developed and refined techniques to translate complex shapes into optimized building geometries. Today state of the art computer tools allow us to do this as a largely automated process. So called Parametric design tools allow us to handle huge and complex geometries in order to establish a continuous data-flow from early design stages to construction drawings and eventually building production.
The internal tower environment could be maintained by an 'all air displacement system'. Such a system uses only air as the cooling medium to the space, and this air is pumped at low velocity in from the floor at low level. The air is introduced into the floor void at low level and from the double skin facade system. The floor void acts as a plenum or duct to transport the air to where it is required. The air is supplied to the space through floor outlets positioned strategically around the space. people or lighting. The air will rise gaining in temperature. It will pick up further heat at high level from the lights. This warm air, which will be above head height, could reach a temperature of 26°C before being sucked into the ceiling void through the lights, perimeter slot via the blind box and other holes. All the heat sources emit contaminants, machines as well as people. These are efficiently removed by the buoyancy driven airflow. This provides a good air quality within the occupied space. The amount of air supplied to each space must be sufficient to take away the heat gains within the space. A calculation needs to be done once the heat loading of the space is confirmed. Spaces next to the building's perimeter will experience heat from outside, due to the sun and the air temperature. This solar gain will vary in magnitude depending on the weather conditions, time of day and time of year. Irrespective of solar gain it is important to realise that direct and indirect sunshine will enter the building at different times of the year and this may be uncomfortable to occupants with sun directly on them and because of reflections on the display casings. It is recommended for this reason that internal blinds be installed. The solar gain at the building's perimeter spaces requires that more air be supplied here than to those spaces further back from the perimeter. It is important to realise that the temperature within each space will vary between a minimum of 20.5°C and maximum of 25.5°C. The temperature will be low when the space is sparsely occupied, has a small number of machines or, at the perimeter, when the sun isn't shining. Conversely the temperature will be high with a densely occupied space, a large number of machines or, at the perimeter, when the sun is shining. During much of the year warm air, from the ceiling voids, is mixed with fresh air to provide the full quantity of air required for cooling. The mixed air is cooled using refrigeration equipment. The quantity of fresh air will usually be greater than the minimum required and during certain conditions will be entirely fresh air. This minimises the energy used by the refrigeration machines for cooling. It also minimises the energy required to heat the air during winter. The humidity of the air supplied to the space will be dictated by the humidity of the outside air and the number of people in the building.