CJ GROUP HQ
Seoul, South Korea
Cannon Design, Shanghai & Yazdani Studio, Los Angeles
Senior Design Architect
New Pharmaceutical Office and Lab Corporate Heaquarters
In the realm of interior design and architectural solutions, spaces are not just about aesthetics or functionality; they are about evoking emotions, fostering interactions, and sometimes, serendipitously, becoming the birthplace of groundbreaking discoveries. The CJ Group HQ in Seoul, South Korea, stands as a testament to this philosophy.
Albert Szent-Györgyi, the Nobel prize-winning biochemist, once eloquently remarked, “A discovery is said to be an accident meeting a prepared mind.” This profound statement resonates deeply when one considers the accidental origins of innovations like Corn Flakes, Dynamite, and Viagra. Such discoveries underscore the importance of environments that not only support focused research but also facilitate unplanned interactions, leading to unexpected breakthroughs.
The CJ Group HQ, a monumental project for Cheiljedang Inc., one of Korea's pharmaceutical, biological, and food behemoths, embodies this ethos. As the senior design architect for Cannon Design in Shanghai, I had the privilege of collaborating with the esteemed Yazdani Studio in Los Angeles to bring this vision to life. Our collective ambition was to craft a space that would be more than just a corporate headquarters. It was to be a crucible for innovation.
Spanning an impressive 36,000sm, the design for this new Pharmaceutical Office and Lab Corporate Headquarters was both ambitious and nuanced. The architectural solution we envisioned comprised three partially independent research towers. These towers, while serving as hubs of rigorous research and development, were unified by a central, light-infused atrium. This atrium was not merely a design element; it was the heart of the entire structure, pulsating with life, ideas, and possibilities.
The atrium's significance lay in its role as a facilitator of accidental discoveries. By fostering chance encounters between researchers from varied departments, it became a zone dedicated to interaction, collaboration, and serendipity. As researchers moved through this space, engaging in spontaneous conversations or simply pausing for reflection, the atrium became a catalyst for cross-pollination of ideas.
Beyond the atrium, the architectural solutions extended to meticulously designed laboratories, offices, and common spaces. Each area was conceptualized with a keen eye for detail, ensuring that they not only met the functional requirements but also exuded an aura of sophistication and elegance, hallmarks of commercial architecture. The landscape design further complemented the building, offering a serene outdoor space for relaxation and contemplation.
In essence, the CJ Group HQ is not just a building; it is a symphony of design elements, each playing its part in creating an environment conducive to innovation. It stands as a testament to the power of interior design and architectural solutions in shaping not just spaces, but also the narratives that unfold within them.