Skyline Blog

About Skyscrapers

Seoul Skyline (서울) – the Soul of Asia

Posted by Jae on February 11, 2009

Seoul at night

Seoul at night

Seoul, the center of a 24.5 million metropolitan area, is the second most populous metropolitan area in the world (only behind Tokyo metro.)  The city has hosted the 1988 summer Olympics and the 2002 FIFA World Cup.  As the headquarters for Samsung (the world’s leading electronic company and the world’s largest conglomerate), LG, and Hyundai, Seoul has become a major hub in Asia.  As a major business and financial center, Seoul ranks sixth in the world in terms of the number of Fortune Global 500 international companies headquartered there.

Seoul has a major public mass transportation system with the cleanest and most efficient subway system in the world! Seoul is serviced by two international airports: the smaller Gimpo International Airport and the massive Incheon International Airport which is consistently ranked as one of the best airports in the world along with Hong Kong International and Singapore International aiports.  Overall, Seoul was ranked as the ninth greatest city in the world! (Fifty years ago Seoul did not even have a single paved road and the city economy was practically non-existent.  Because of Seoul’s great transformation in such a short period of time, it is studied by “second and third world” Asian cities.)

Seoul’s skyscrapers are divided into many clusters, spread amongst the main businesses and residential districts. Most of the recent growth in Seoul’s skyline, however, has been of residential towers 50+ storeys high that are shooting up like blades of grass! There are 2865 completed high-rises (11 skyscrapers over 200 m tall) and much of the mid-rise to high-rise structures are lined up in a linear fashion, creating a “wall” of buildings like no other city on earth. Seoul’s Central Business District is cluster about cluster of buildings facing in every direction. Seoul is where the ancient Eastern world collides with the modern West. The tallest in the city is currently the 264 m, 73-story Tower Palace G (one of the tallest all residential skyscrapers in the world) in Dogok-dong.

The tallest buildings are concentrated in five different locations: the traditional city center at Jongno, the modern business and financial district in Gangnam along Teheran Road between Gangnam Station and the COEX complex, the financial and political center on the island of Yeouido, the affluent residential neighborhood of Dogok-dong, and Mok-Dong. Seoul is located in a valley surrounded by mountains with one mountain in the center, Namsan. On top of Namsan is the 237 m Namsan Tower (Seoul Tower) which is considered an iconic image of the city of Seoul and can be seen from almost anywhere in the city (tops out at 480 m above sea level.)

The city has the following tall skyscrapers either under construction or approved for construction: the 620 m KoRail Tower, 580 m International Business Center, 555 m Lotte Super Tower, 334 m Parc1 Tower A, and 300 m AIG Main Tower. Incheon, a suburb of Seoul, seems to be the next big development spot for South Korea with the 305 m Northeast Asia Trade Tower topped off, the 610 m Incheon Tower under construction, and the 614 m twin towers Songdo Incheon Towers approved for construction. With the completion of these towers Seoul would be home to many of the tallest skyscrapers in the world (trailing only the 818 m Burj Dubai and 632 m Shanghai Tower.)




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