What if ever built will be the second tallest building in the world, is finally being fleshed out to stand in a new emerging commercial zone in the Korean capital of Seoul, Digital Media City.
The project which has been designed by Skimore Owings & Merrill was formally announced by local government in Seoul. It is being developed by a wing of Samsung, C&T and is intended to stand 690 metres tall with 133 floors. The design has yet to be publicly finalized and has changed substantially since it was last featured with the current version being resplendent with curves, a far cry from the angular twin towers that were previously mooted.
It will contain not only a luxury hotel, grade A offices, retail outlets, a convention centre and an aquarium but also a viewing platform where visitors will reportedly be able to see the border of the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea. How the secretive communist regime reacts to this remains to be seen.
The Mayor of Seoul, Oh Se-hoon, has recently devoted much of his time to secure the finances for the $2.4 billion dollar project and yesterday finally managed to achieve from 23 collaborating Korean property companies a memorandum of understanding that the funding will be forthcoming and the project can finally get off the table.
Driving this politically is the desire to engage in a massive job creation scheme with Samsung C&T promising that up to 80,000 new positions will eventually be created by it in a country that is now headed into recession. In Korea, Keynsian economics clearly includes skyscrapers meaning that at least Koreans will have something to show for their spending splurge in the future.
It should be interesting to see which other municipal authorities around the world try and take the same approach to help stimulate their local economies.
The Sangam DMC Landmark Tower has an estimated completion date of 2015, a number that has slipped by two years since 2008, but Korea long has a reputation of dreaming big, and then waking up to the harsh light of day.