-Written by Stephen Abraham-Reynolds & Mohamed Tantawi-
The start of today was early and rushed as usual after 15000 snoozes before waking up and having our luxurious breakfast of toast with butter and jam.. Oh yeah the butter was out so just toast and jam. Anyways, we took off towards S.A.M.O.O., the largest and top engineering and architecture firm for 10 years straight in South Korea. Their head office is located in the Songpa-Gu district of Seoul, which is an award-winning district for being the most liveable and the largest in Seoul. As we entered the building, I must say we had a warm welcome with a sign posted in the lobby especially for TU/e with our name on it. The design architect greeted us and escorted us to the conference room that could probably host a UN General Assembly (exaggerated) due to its size and interiors, where we were seated and generously served with some beverages.
The start of the presentation was about the background of the company that showed the international influence S.A.M.O.O. has. The main topic relevant to us building physicists and “servicicians” (let me know if you come up with the right word for it) was a project designed by S.A.M.O.O. that is a Zero Carbon Building.
The project was the ECO Energy R&D Centre located in Daejeon, South Korea. It is a mixed-use building that consists of two laboratories and an office designated space. The design process was split into three stages: passive design, active design and renewable energy design stages. The lead architect was present to answer our countless questions after the description of the building characteristics and design strategies.
Let`s not forget about our trip to the top of the LOTTE World tower. These are the mind blowing numbers: 5th tallest building in the world, it is 555 meter high. After taking the high speed elevator (10m/s) the group arrived at the 3rd highest observation deck of the world, 485m high (calculate travel time). Here we enjoyed the breath-taking views of Seoul. Almost everone was brave enough and dared to step onto the glass floor, looking all the way down.
Afterwards we were able to walk through the LOTTE Concert Hall. For the die-hard acousticians, this is the first Box-in-a-box system applied in a building Korea, designed by Nagata Acoustics. The group was clapping their way around the hall and where surprised to “measure” a long reverberation time (over 3 seconds). The tour guide`s explanation was that it was needed to protect the fragile sound produced in classical music.