Construction began Tuesday on the Yongsan Landmark Tower, which is expected to be the most expensive building in the world once it is completed, standing 100 stories tall and rising half a kilometer into the sky.
Scheduled to be built inside the international business district in Yongsan, the tower will not quite measure up to the Burj Khalifa in Dubai (162 stories, 828 m) or the Lotte Super Tower being built in Jamsil (123 stories, 555 m), but it will be the most expensive building per square unit.
At present, each 3.3 sq.m costs around W12.1 million (US$1=W1,167). The total construction cost is W1.4 trillion and the entire price tag for the building, including the land, stands at more than W4 trillion.
It is more expensive than the Burj Khalifa, which cost around W11.5 million per 3.3 sq.m and costs 40 percent more than the Samsung Group headquarters in Seocho-dong, which cost W8.5 million per 3.3 sq.m. Design alterations and the use of more high-tech materials could bump the price tag up further.
The skyscraper will be packed with cutting-edge equipment and facilities. The structure was designed by renowned architect Renzo Piano, who created the Pompidou Center in Paris and London Bridge Tower.
Samsung Corporation, which also served as the main contractor on the Burj Khalifa and Taipei 101 (101 stories, 508 m), the latter in Taiwan, will build the new architectural landmark in Yongsan.
It will house the offices of global businesses and will offer a wide range of high-tech functions. First of all, the skyscraper will be equipped with the fastest elevators in the world that travel at 800 meters per second, more than six times faster than the lifts installed in high-rise condominiums in Korea (120 m/s).
In order to withstand the staggering weight of 100 stories of steel and concrete, ultra-high intensity concrete will be used to build the skyscraper, capable of supporting up to 800 kg per sq.cm.
The tower is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2016. There is a less than 25 mm room for error in the building’s actual height. To ensure that, GPS-based surveying technology using three satellites will be deployed.
A Seoul city official handling the construction said, “KORAIL purchased the right to the building last month for W4.16 trillion, but its price tag will rise to more than W5 trillion if it is resold.”