Analysis of skyscrapers’ economic and societal effects or conflicts on urban fabrics : based on the case of 2nd LOTTE WORLD Project, S. Korea



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Generally the skyscraper has been the great architectural contribution of modern capitalistic society and treated as the pride of a city’s urban development with significantly embossed positive aspects over the past few decades. Yet the fact that the ripple effects resulting from these buildings don’t always proceed to only a bright future urban life has also been confirmed through our recent experiences, and is especially more easily observed in high density and congested areas such as Asia Pacific cities. Therefore the evaluation for the justification of skyscraper development projects would be different depending on the specific conditions that a city faces. It is a start point of this paper. In this aspect, this study is based on the case study, the 2nd LOTTE WORLD Project in Seoul, South Korea. Because this project is an unprecedented building type in South Korea and there are no standard of measurements to evaluate its adequacy, establishing a decision model for verifying the real value of this project would be worth for the systematic urban planning in Seoul City. Furthermore, because the author got directly involved with this project as an architectural planning consultant in CB Richard Ellis firm1, the author can be in seeing this project with credible data as well as several unopened documents. Notably, this project will contribute to a boom in local economy, improving the brand image of Seoul. However, as long as conflicts incurred exist those benefits cannot be only absolute grounds to define the real value of this project. Therefore this study analyzes credible factors, which are potentially influenced by the 2nd LOTTE WORLD Project, to make an evaluation tool. The result from the survey research shows that most responders select ‘Tourism industry’ and ‘Unique identity’ as main factors substantially resulting from the completion of this project and all factors belonging to the two ‘Economic effects’ and ‘Social / Political benefits’ highly preferred to those belonging to the ‘Social / Political conflicts’. And this supports the fact that the 2nd LOTTE WORLD TOWER project is worth proceeding with a huge amount of positive effects for local communities as well as Seoul City. However, because there is a limit to this survey research in that the small collected sample size is not enough to generalize the characteristics of this project, a more specific study is necessary to find real value and more specific relationships between skyscrapers and urban fabric in Seoul City in the future.