Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat
Lotte Jamsil Super Tower Tour Report

October 11, 2011
by Robert Lau
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Lotte Jamsil Super Tower excavation site

On a bright Tuesday afternoon a tour was hosted at the Lotte Jamsil Super Tower construction site. Situated east of the conference venue in downtown Seoul, the construction site was a buzz of activity of trucks and cranes. We circled from the main Songpadaero road into the construction site. This gave us a good overview of the size and complexity of the superblock development.

The Lotte superblock contains a shopping mall and the Lotte World indoor amusement park as well as the 556 meter tall Lotte Jamsil Super Tower, which on completion will become the tallest building in Seoul. Lakes to the south will also be incorporated into the functionality of the superblock. Like the Burj Khalifa complex in Dubai, this development includes many functions and will be completed in phases. It will also become a city-within-a-city for Seoul, with a tall building as the landmark in the skyline for the complex.

Project preview center

Project model

We first visited the model in the construction office. We filled an auditorium to receive an overview of the design and construction of the tower from the construction staff. The excavation is a huge hole for the matt foundation of the tower and the foundations of additional buildings in the complex. The tower structure is a core and eight megacolumns with outriggers. The podium of the tower contains retail to compliment the other functions. Large office floor plates begin at the 11th floor and continue up to the 76th floor. As the tower rises, it begins to taper. A hotel will occupy the 80th to 110th floors as the four facades gently taper upwards. An art gallery will occupy the floors above the hotel. The top floors 122 and 123 will contain a Sky Cafe and Observation Deck, respectively. The peak will form twin points for a distinctive silhouette in the skyline. The tapered shape and pristine form are trademarks of the designer, William Pedersen of Kohn Pedersen Fox. In his conference presentation he explained this preference for simpler more elegant forms for supertall buildings.

Delegates attending presentation

Leslie E. Robertson, LERA, structural engineer of the project
We enjoyed the views from the observation deck high above the excavation opening. At this time, the matt foundation and bases of the megacolumns have been placed. To the east of the tower foundation is the podium base of the superblock for the other buildings within the complex. Temporary roadways and ramps have been constructed within the excavation to provide access for the material-laden delivery trucks.
Saw Teen See of LERA being interviewed by local media
Lotte Tower megacolumns in distance
The structural engineer for the tower, LERA Director of Design Leslie Robertson, joined us on the tour along with CTBUH Award Winner Akira Wada. LERA Managing Partner Saw Teen See provided insights into the tower's structural aspects. Another supertall that KPF and LERA have recently designed together is the Shanghai World Financial Center. At 556 meters, this new Lotte Super Tower will establish Seoul as one of a handful of cities worldwide with supertalls.
Group photograph