Lotte World II Department Store, Busan, Korea, 2002

PROJECT AND DATES: Lotte World 2, 2001-2002
LOCATION: Busan, South Korea
CREDITS: Architect: Steven Huh, (Parker Durrant International),
Designers: Aaron Kadoch, Design Team at Parker Durrant International

2009 Redesign: Seoul-based Yamasaki Ku Hong Associates Design Lab (YKH)
Construction: LOTTE Engineering & Construction is the construction contractor for the project.


The original design of the complex was performed by Parker Durant International, based in Minneapolis, MN USA, under the direction of Steven Huh and Leonard Parker. I was on the design team of the complex providing conceptual layouts and architectural modeling of all components including, plans, sections, structural components,interiors, circulation and parking diagrams and curtain walls.  Even though the project has changed hands many times over the years, you can see many of the original design features and main forms are still intact as well as the specialized curtain wall system consisting of a double skin, of which I worked diligently to create through many rendering studies as seen above in the image gallery. A double skin allows for creative visual effects, lighting, as well as provides enhanced thermal properties, reducing energy consumption greatly. The original design for the roof top had a Ferris wheel attached and that has been eliminated from the design, yet an active rooftop is still a part of the project.

A recently published article on the Design-Build provides more detail about the current status of the project complex.

Busan Lotte Town Tower is a 107-floor high-rise building being constructed at the waterfront area in Busan, South Korea. The 510m-high tower is set to transform Busan into a new gateway to east Asia. The tower is owned and developed by Lotte Group.

The landmark tower provides 3.9 million square feet of mixed-use space for offices, hotel, condominiums, retail and entertainment areas, as well as underground parking.

Busan Lotte Town Tower design and structure

“The shape and layout of the Busan Lotte Town Tower are inspired by the compact city concept.”

The shape and layout of the Busan Lotte Town Tower are inspired by the compact city concept. The design is influenced by the complex and rigorous structural requirements. The podium of the tower is divided into quarter-circles. Each quadrant features a lobby area servicing various destinations of the tower.

The structure is narrowed down abruptly at transitions among the major facilities. These setbacks are ordered with a dextral whirl to inspire the façades. The tower is surrounded by a retail podium and a waterfront area.

The main structural elements are built using high-strength concrete. The Y-shaped braced structure was adapted to minimize the utilization of the material and increase the resistance to loading.

The concrete core of the tower incorporates vertical pedestrian circulation and mechanical systems. The large reinforced concrete wall-beams transfer perimeter column loads to six mega-columns. Each level is provided with an independent column layout set aside for its function.

Construction of the South Korean mixed-use building

The new Busan Lotte Town Tower is being constructed in phases. The first phase of construction includes a department store building. The later phases of construction will include an entertainment building, a luxury hotel, an observation deck, offices and cultural and commercial facilities.

The construction of Busan Lotte Town Tower began with the ground-breaking ceremony held in March 2009. The department store building was constructed by the end of 2009. The roof garden of the department store was modified in 2010. Seoul-based Yamasaki Ku Hong Associates Design Lab (YKH) was engaged for the redesign work. The tower is expected to be topped out by 2016. The construction activity employs about two million people per year.

Facilities in the Busan Lotte Town Tower

The mixed-use tower offers a gross floor area of 255,146m² for housing offices, luxurious six-star hotel, retail spaces, entertainment facilities, cultural venues and underground parking lots. The residential area from floors 59 to 77 will include 12 suites, while the accommodation space on floors 83 to 98 will house nine suites.

“The construction of Busan Lotte Town Tower began with the ground-breaking ceremony held in March 2009.”

The office spaces of the tower will have open floor plates allowing custom tenant modifications. The observation deck on the rooftop will offer spectacular views of the Busan water front.

The department store building has a roof garden, which is the hybrid entertainment or observatory area integrating hardware and software architecture. It provides a spectacular view of the Busan Port to the users.

The remodelled store implements the ‘Way-Pod’ concept, which integrates six Way zones with different elevated view corridors and six Pod areas offering entertainment venues for gaming, leisure, cultural programmes and other events.

Building sustainability

The Busan Lotte Town Tower will be equipped with various sustainable features. The building will implement light shelves for enhanced daylight and energy optimisation or co-generation measures to reduce grid demand.

Contractors involved

Skidmore Owings & Merrill (SOM) was contracted to provide architecture and structural engineering services for the Busan Lotte Town Tower. LOTTE Engineering & Construction is the construction contractor for the project.

Heerim Architects & Planners was selected to provide design services for a section of the tower, in 2010. Syska Hennessy Group is providing Mechanical, Electrical and Plumbing (MEP) services for the tower, while wind engineering consulting services are provided by RWDI.

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