The Cross # Towers designed by BIG– Bijarke Ingles Group for downtown Seoul, South Korea at the south-east edge of the Yongsan master plan will contribute to the developing skyline of Seoul and become a recognizable marker of the new cultural and commercial center of the city. BIG was selected to submit a design proposal for Yongsan international Business District beating out 19 international offices.
The 21,000 m2 site includes two elegant towers with a height of 214 and 204m. To meet the height requirements of the site, the exceeding building mass is transformed into an upper and lower horizontal bar, which bridge the two towers at 140m and 70m in height. The two towers are additionally connected through the arrival bar at ground level and a courtyard below ground. The development will offer 600 high-end residences and amenities, including a library, gallery space and kindergarten.
Described by BIG founding partner, Bjarke Ingels, "the Cross # Towers constitute a three- dimensional urban community of interlocking horizontal and vertical towers. Three public bridges connect two slender towers at different levels – underground, at street, and in the sky. Catering to the demands and desires of different residents, age groups and cultures, the bridges are landscaped and equipped for a variety of activities traditionally restricted to the ground. the resultant volume forms a distinct figure on the skyline of Seoul. A "#" that serves as a gateway to the new Yongsan Business District signaling a radical departure from the crude repetition of disconnected towers and new urban community that populates the three-dimensional space of the city."
Both the upper and lower bridge introduce rooftop gardens accessible to residents, allowing for outdoor activities, while a courtyard at the heart of the development is an integral part of the overall architectural design. Pedestrians at the arrival deck which connects the towers at ground level can enjoy impressive views to the bridges above and to the submerged courtyard below.
Designers aimed to propose a building that offered social interaction on a level unlike traditional vertical towers, tripling the amount of social interaction and reintroducing the idea of neighborhood within the tower complex.