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The LG Science Park, a research centre built by the LG Corporation in Seoul, is a project of extraordinary scale. Over an area of 111 hectares, LG combines the research power of all of the corporation’s subsidiaries in 26 buildings, some of which are up to nine storeys tall. The American architectural firm HOK was responsible for executing the major project, alongside the Seoul-based firm Gansam Architects, which took care of planning and design as well as the landscape architecture. And for the design of the headquarters for the LG Hausys division, both outdoor and indoor, there was of course only one material for the job: the company’s own solid surface material, HI-MACS®.
The LG Science Park in Seoul’s Magok District aims to inspire the 24,000 engineers and scientists working for the corporation on product innovations. HOK’s design captures LG’s vision of creating synergies between people and places through countless interactive possibilities. For example, employees can meet and interact with each other within individual labs, in lab neighbourhoods or – thanks to transparent atria – between and across lab units. Moreover, all buildings are connected to each other through parking facilities that are designed in a targeted way to encourage interaction among employees.
This mix of rooms for exchange and teamwork on the one hand and concentrated, individual work on the other supports the company’s efforts to create forward-looking technology with timelessly beautiful design. The individual rooms and buildings exhibit the same elegance of form as LG’s consumer products, which feature elegant exteriors wrapped around cutting-edge technology. Nevertheless, each building still has its own identity.
For example, the flagship product of LG Hausys – its solid surface material, HI-MACS® – makes an appearance even at the entrance to the building complex, pointing to the resistant, weatherproof nature of the high-tech material. Visitors are shown the way on building signs in the immaculate Alpine White colour.
In the LG Hausys lobby, the visitor’s eye is immediately drawn to the impressive wavy information counter and the artfully wound seating. Here, too, HI-MACS® in Alpine White lends a discreet elegance to the space while also revealing another highly developed property of the solid surface material: thanks to its composition of minerals, natural pigments and acrylic, it can not only be processed seamlessly but also thermoformed into almost any shape.
Further use in the building reveals the full extent of the versatility of the solid surface material. The glossy HI-MACS® interior cladding demonstrates how the material is also able to handle heavy-duty use in high-traffic areas such as entrance halls and waiting areas – even in the classical Alpine White colour that was chosen in this case.
The choice of this elegant shade continues seamlessly in its use on other surfaces. The radiant white can be found on the work surfaces in the many kitchen areas, on the bistro tables and on open work surfaces. It creates a relaxed, bright and friendly atmosphere and also provides a pleasant, tactile experience. In this way, HI-MACS® underscores the architects’ efforts to create zones where employees and visitors can enjoy meeting and spending time interacting.
Thanks to its non-porous surface, HI-MACS® is the ideal material for use in areas where there is especially heavy traffic, such as offices. The solid surface material does not allow bacteria, mould or dirt to grow, thus complying with the strictest hygiene standards. Its durability and excellent care and cleaning properties make it an easy choice for sanitary facilities as well. A number of WC wash basins at LG Hausys were therefore designed in the colour Crystal Beige. The clear design of the solid surface material – sometimes bright, sometimes dark or with a discreet sprinkling of colour – once again emphasises the minimalist approach of LG’s overall concept to create a feeling of timeless elegance. The solid surface material HI-MACS® is definitely a high-tech material that meets the highest standards in terms of quality, aesthetics, functionality and hygiene, which makes it the ideal choice for translating LG’s concept of cutting-edge technology into an elegant, stylish look.