Communique Headquarters, Seoul (Complete)

Communique Headquarters and Cafe, Seoul Korea

Communique Headquarters won the 2015 Ministry of Land Award for best Adaptive Reuse project in Korea, and was shortlisted for several other national and international prizes.

The Communique Headquarters in Seoul is a full renovation of a 1980’s era office building in the Yongsan district in the city centre. The design is oriented around creating a positive impact on the neighbourhood, and a healthy and productive workspace for employees. A dark and cramped car park was transformed into an airy and light-filled space using tessellated stainless steel, and the entire facade was reclad in intricate granite panels. The adaptive pattern was generated to reduce complexity while recladding the existing column at ground floor, and to reduce cost in the main stone facade. At the same time, the differentiation of panel sizes optimises internal daylight in the offices within. The roof garden is based on the traditional Korean temple courtyard, and is used by the company employees for pilates, meditation, and social events like barbecues and urban camping.

The interior design of Communique Headquarters was done with employee productivity and wellbeing in mind. Biophilia elements are integrated directly into the bookshelves, using air-purifying spathiphyllum lilies. The colour scheme was selected to allow focus in the work areas and to relax the eyes with darker tones in the toilets and the stair core. The basement conference rooms were considered like a gallery space with simple tones and art on the walls. The building was designed for maximising fresh air for the workers, with custom designed lamps that change colour to tell the employees to open the windows, and the operable glazing oriented in different directions to catch the wind. Omitting the dropped ceiling increased the air volume in the space by 12%, and the sizing of the windows increases lower in the building, reducing glare at the top and filling it with light at lower levels. Post-occupancy surveys showed extremely high satisfaction levels with the light quality in the space.