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Asia-Pacific / South Korea

South Korea is planning the world's fourth tallest skyscraper. Again

South Korea’s tallest skyscraper, Seoul’s Lotte World Tower, is due to be completed in 2016. It’s 556m tall, will be the world’s fourth tallest building, and has had its share of setbacks – not least that it may or may not have drained a lake thus causing a series of sinkholes.

It’s a shame, then, that the Lotte tower will only have a couple of years in the sun before its title of Korea’s tallest building (and fourth tallest in the world) is cruelly snatched away. 

The tower’s challenger was announced on Tuesday by Seoul’s city government. It clocks in at 571m tall, 16m taller than the Lotte tower, and will have 115 storeys. Here’s a distinctly unglamorous rendering of it (they haven’t actually chosen an architect yet, so the design may well change):

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Image: Seoul Metropolitan Government.

Hyundai, South Korea’s largest car company, will build the tower and use it as its headquarters. A comparatively mini skyscraper next door (the left-hand building in the rendering above) will house a hotel and shopping centre. 

The skyscraper will be located in the city’s affluent Gangnam district, where, as we’re sure you already know, land prices and living standards are high. To give you some indication, Hyundai and a consortium of other companies bought the 20 acres of land for its new skyscraper for around $10bn.

To make matters worse, Hyundai shares dropped dramatically in the wake of the purchase, wiping out a further $8bn in shareholder value. Let’s hope there’s enough cash left over to actually build the thing.


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