Seoul Lite

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Digital Media City Landmark Building
디지털 미디어 시티 랜드마크 빌딩
General information
StatusNever built
TypeOffice and residential spaces, hotels, an observatory, a department store, shopping malls, a convention center, a large-scale aquarium, restaurants
LocationDigital Media City, Seoul, South Korea
Coordinates37°34′28.47″N 126°53′18.31″E / 37.5745750°N 126.8884194°E / 37.5745750; 126.8884194Coordinates: 37°34′28.47″N 126°53′18.31″E / 37.5745750°N 126.8884194°E / 37.5745750; 126.8884194
Construction started2018 (planned)
Completed2022 (planned)
Opening2023 (planned)
CostUS$2.9 billion (3.3 trillion won)
Antenna spire640 m (2,100 ft)
Roof540 m (1,772 ft)
Top floor536 m (1,759 ft)
Technical details
Floor count133[1]
Design and construction
ArchitectSkidmore, Owings & Merrill, Samoo
Structural engineerSkidmore, Owings & Merrill
Main contractorSamsung C&T, Daewoo[1]

The Digital Media City Landmark Building (Korean: 디지털 미디어 시티 랜드마크 빌딩) or DMC Landmark Building, also known as Seoul Lite or Light Tower, was a 133-floor, 640 m (2,100 ft) supertall skyscraper proposed for construction in Digital Media City, Seoul, South Korea. It was slated to become the third-tallest building in the world when completed, after Burj Khalifa and Pingan International Finance Centre. It would have been the tallest building in Korea. Construction broke ground on 16 October 2009, and was scheduled to be completed and ready for occupancy by April 2015.[2] It was to be built with the country's own capital and technology at an estimated cost of 3.3 trillion won (US$2.9 billion).[3]

The design and engineering of the DMC Landmark Building was performed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill.[4] The local architect of record was Samoo. The building was to house an observation deck on 133rd floor at 540 m (1,772 ft), from which visitors will be able to see the entire metropolis of Seoul and as far as Gaeseong, North Korea.[5] It would have been the tallest observation deck in the world, higher than those of Burj Khalifa on the 124th floor at 440 m (1,444 ft) and the 100th floor of the Shanghai World Financial Center at 474 m (1,555 ft). Six through eight-star hotels would have been located on the 108th-130th floors, surpassing the Park Hyatt Hotel (79th-93rd floors) in the Shanghai World Financial Center, as the highest hotel rooms in the world.

All functions of a futuristic, 21st century city were to be incorporated into the building, including the most high-tech office and residential spaces, a department store, luxury shopping malls, a large convention center, the world's largest interactive aquarium, international restaurants and facilities for media, culture and exhibitions.[6]

The landmark building was backed by the Seoul Metropolitan Government and was being constructed at the fastest speed among major skyscraper projects[7] by South Korea's Samsung C&T, whose work includes Burj Khalifa, Taipei 101 and the Petronas Twin Towers.

It was cancelled for budgetary reasons and collapse of South Korean property market bubble in 2012.


The landmark building's masterplan was completed in 2000, at the start of the new millennium. It was designed to be the centerpiece of where all things digital, from music to animation to computing companies, are accommodated. Located at western Seoul in Sangam-dong, Mapo-gu, the landmark building is adjacent to the Seoul World Cup Stadium used in 2002, when South Korea and Japan co-hosted the 2002 FIFA World Cup. It will be the highlight of the DMC project launched back in 2002, the world's first high-tech complex.

On 1 June 2004, the Seoul Metropolitan Government began inviting developers and interested parties to purchase and develop land (lot or lots) for the DMC Landmark Building.[8]

In January 2008, the Seoul Metropolitan Government invited businesses to submit their proposals in an open competition in connection with the plans to build the landmark building.[5]

In June 2008, the Seoul Landmark Consortium (comprising 23 businesses, such as The Korean Teachers' Credit Union, the Korea Development Bank, Hana Bank, the NACF, the Industrial Bank of Korea, Woori Bank, Daewoo and Daelim) was selected as the preferential bidder of the project.[5]

On 30 March 2009, a ceremony was held at the Seoul Plaza Hotel during which Seoul Mayor Oh Se-hoon and 23 businesses participating in the DMC Landmark Building project signed an agreement on cooperation. The basic plan for the DMC Landmark Building was unveiled at the ceremony.[9]

On 16 August 2009, the DMC Landmark Building broke ground with the theme of "light leading the new millennium" and a LED laser performance. Seoul mayor Oh Se-hoon, 25 business leaders and 1,000 related employees attended the event. The mayor opened the event by praising that the Digital Media City "will provide the world with an entire community to use as a living laboratory of tomorrow's lifestyle. It will be set in an area of riverside parkland encompassing ecological gardens, lakes, hills and streams - providing heartening evidence that 21st century urban man can co-habit with nature, to the mutual benefit of both."[5]

Among major high-tech businesses, LG Electronics has shown the greatest interest in the DMC Landmark Building and along with LG Telecom and LG CNS, they will move their respective headquarters to the new building upon its completion to form a new 'LG Town', similar to the Samsung Town recently built in south-east Seoul.[10]

Politically, the project is expected to significantly boost the South Korean economy by creating 86,000 new jobs and injecting 11 trillion won in production inducement, as well as setting a new landmark icon for South Korea, improving its national image and attracting international tourists and foreign investors.[11]


Originally designed to be angular twin towers to rise as high as 690 m (2,264 ft),[12] the final design has changed substantially to a rounder, more curve-based design featuring the concept of "Seoul Wave", which represents Seoul's status as a city of history, globalization, culture and environment. It also transforms the historic meaning and image of the Smoke-Signal Station on Namsan mountain, or a beacon mound on the mountain as a traditional measure of communications, to a flow of "light", which symbolizes a modern measure of communications, or the digital industry. The building's façade resembling a lighthouse is aimed at expressing a vision as a "light leading the new millennium."

The three main concepts of the DMC Landmark Building are Digital Media, Eco Design and Human Culture. For this reason, it was also called Seoul Lite before being officially named the Digital Media City Landmark Building.[13]

The outward appearance of the building is to be made in a style reminiscent of the windows of traditional Korean houses. Its design specifies the installation of an exterior super skin containing 40,000 LED panels that emit light of various colors.

The bamboo-type structure of the building, with the heart section left empty, increases its resistance to bending three-fold, thus enhancing its structural stability against earthquakes and vibration due to wind.

The landmark building's green rooftop will bring about a heat insulation effect. The installation of automatic ventilation windows on the surface of the building will aid the supply of fresh air and save considerable energy. A mirror installed in the building will direct sunlight towards the lower floors. That, along with the use of geothermal heat and a photovoltaic generation system, using the side walls of the building, will make it possible to save considerable energy.[5]

Floor plans[edit]

The following is a breakdown of floors on the Digital Media City Landmark Building:[14][15]

Floors Use
132-133 Observatory, Media Art Center
131 Broadcasting facility, Open studio
128-130 Concert restaurant
108-130 Luxury six to eight-star hotels
85-107 Family and business hotels
46-84 First-class apartments
9-45 High-tech offices of IT, media, communication and financial businesses
7-8 Large convention centers
1-7 Department stores, shopping malls and a clinic center
B6-1 World's largest interactive aquarium, Digital Media Hall

Interactive aquarium[edit]

At 10,000 m2 (110,000 sq ft), the interactive aquarium inside the DMC Landmark Building will be the largest of its kind. Unlike conventional aquariums, it will be fully interactive and paired with the latest high-tech technologies, allowing visitors to fully interact with it. It is the first foreign direct investment into the DMC Landmark Building, with approximately a billion dollar invested over the next 5 years. On 1 July 2009, the mayor of Seoul signed an investment agreement with United States-based Acrylic Tank Manufacturing (ATM) to build the aquarium. Headquartered in Las Vegas, ATM has 100 years of experience in building large-scale aquariums and already built the Dubai Atlantis Hotel aquarium and the Seattle Underwater Dome.[16]


The Seoul Lite was cancelled for budgetary reasons.[17]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "CTBUH database listing". CTBUH. Retrieved 2010-02-04.
  2. ^ "Seoul DMC Landmark Building". Digital Media City. Retrieved 28 November 2009.[dead link]
  3. ^ "Seoul building world's second tallest tower". 'Maktoob Business. 17 October 2009. Archived from the original on 23 October 2009. Retrieved 18 November 2009.
  4. ^ "Tower by SOM Rising in Seoul". 16 December 2009.
  5. ^ a b c d e "Seoul DMC Landmark Building - The world's 2nd highest building". Digital Media City. 30 March 2009. Retrieved 28 November 2009.[dead link]
  6. ^ "Construction begins on Seoul DMC Landmark Building". 13 November 2009. Archived from the original on 3 August 2012. Retrieved 18 November 2009.
  7. ^ Ground breaking video of "Sangam DMC Landmark Building starts construction"
  8. ^ "Land Offering for the DMC Landmark Building in Digital Media City (DMC)". Digital Media City. 1 June 2004. Retrieved 28 November 2009.[dead link]
  9. ^ "Seoul DMC Landmark Building Project agreement signed". Seoul. 20 April 2009. Archived from the original on 23 July 2012. Retrieved 28 November 2009.
  10. ^ "Construction begins on 'Seoul DMC Landmark Building'". Seoul Metropolitan Government. 11 November 2009. Archived from the original on 14 July 2012. Retrieved 28 November 2009.
  11. ^ "LG makes the town of Sangam". 19 November 2009. Retrieved 28 November 2009.
  12. ^ "Funding Secured or 690m Tall Korean Skyscraper". 4 July 2009. Retrieved 28 November 2009.
  13. ^ "Seoul's DMC, I inform the world". MDT Today. 17 June 2009. Retrieved 28 November 2009.
  14. ^ "Seoul DMC Landmark Building, civil construction symbolizes the sum total of". CDaily. 15 October 2009. Retrieved 28 November 2009.
  15. ^ "Sangam DMC Landmark". 19 June 2008. Retrieved 21 January 2010.
  16. ^ "DMC - largest aquarium in a building". 1 July 2009. Retrieved 28 November 2009.
  17. ^ Seoul nixes project to build landmark building Archived 2012-08-04 at the Wayback Machine. The Jakarta Post (2012-06-01). Retrieved on 2013-07-12.

External links[edit]