Image Courtesy of Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture


Completed in December 2013, the new head office building for the Federation of Korean Industries (FKI) is a major new addition to the skyline of Seoul, Korea. FKI represents major Korean companies

such as Samsung, LG and Hyundai Motors. The new headquarters is located on Yeoi-Dae-Roh, the main through-road in Seoul and is now a prominent fixture among the wall of marquee buildings along the road, directly across the street from Yeoido Park.

The 50-story, 240-meter tower features an innovative exterior wall, designed specifically for the project. The building’s unique skin helps reduce internal heating and cooling loads and collects energy through photovoltaic panels that are integrated into the spandrel areas of the southwest and northwest facades.

The concept for FKI was developed by combining the client’s request for a building that was contextual to the predominantly orthogonal architecture of the Yeoido District and the city’s requirement that all new large-scale commercial buildings generate a minimum of 5% of their energy onsite. The design team developed a strategy that would meet both requirements as well as reduce the amount of energy that the building used for its heating and cooling loads. The use of building integrated photovoltaic panels (BIPV) was seen as an architecturally appealing way to meet the strict zoning requirement, while the optimization of the panels became a driving factor in developing the architectural expression.