Lotte World Tower in Seoul, South Korea has become the fifth tallest building in the world, having completed the criteria established by the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH). The 555 metre building is presently the tallest in the country and is 250 metres taller than the previous record-holder, Northeast Asia Trade Tower (305 meters).
The completion of Lotte World Tower is notable for pushing Kuala Lumpur’s 452-meter Petronas Twin Towers, once the world’s tallest buildings, out of the Top 10 list for the first time since they completed in 1998. The Petronas Towers were among the Top 10 Tallest Buildings for 19 years and were beaten out as the world’s tallest by the 508 metre TAIPEI 101, which itself was overtaken in 2010 by the current title-holder, the 828 metre Burj Khalifa.
The tower’s design melds a modern aesthetic with forms inspired by Korean ceramics, porcelain and calligraphy. The sleek tapered form of Lotte World Tower stands out from Seoul’s rocky, mountainous topography. The tower has been programmed with a variety of functions consisting of retail components, offices, a seven-star luxury hotel and an officetel. Common in the South Korean real estate, Officetels offer studio-apartment-style accommodations for people who work in the building and often feature certain services found in hotels such as furnishings, a security desk and gym access.
The tower has been designed and built in coordination with the 10-storey Lotte World Mall at its base that opened in 2014. The retail and entertainment complex accommodates as much area as its vertical component and has been a very popular attraction since its opening, drawing 28.2 million people to the site in its first 12 months. Connections between the two major building components are made via interior pathways at many levels, but also by active outdoor public space.