Completed in 2008 and the winner of several designawards, the Boutique Monaco is a 27-floor building that is over 100 meters high. It’s a combination of a hotel, offices and residential units. It’s even home to a furniture museum.
The Boutique Monaco is also known as the “Missing Matrix” building, as sections of the tower seem to be cut out.
Photo credit: Mass Studies
According to CNNGo, Mass Studies, the firm behind the Boutique Monaco, and its renowned architect, Minsuk Cho, deliberately removed corners and sections of the building to create hubs for interaction. The missing sections contain “sky gardens” that serve as spaces for people to meet and interact. The missing spots also provide better views and allow more natural light to come into the building.
Photo Credit: Mass Studies
In contrast to its height, the Boutique Monaco attempts to also provide a down-to-earth vibe, overall making an very harmonious combination.
Two blocks away from the Boutique Monaco in the same Gangnam area is the GT Tower, which looks like an ocean wave that’s been transformed into floors and windows.
According to Inhabit.com, the wavy tower was inspired by “the delicate forms of Korean pottery.”
The 130-meter tall GT Tower is made up of mostly offices as well as cultural and commercial spaces. It was designed by the Dutch architectural firm Architecten Consort and won the “Seoul Architecture Prize” in 2011.
Photo credit: freshome.com
Photo credit: Contemporist.com
The GT Tower doesn’t just look like it belongs in nature, but also tries to protect it. The building was built with many sustainability measures in mind, which can be seen in the well-insulated facade, the installation of solar panels for generating power and an overall structure that lets in natural light and ventilation.
In the midst of the many skyscrapers in this business district, these two buildings are a pleasant visual treat and furthermore make a significant contribution to society and the environment.
What do you think about these buildings? If you could design your own, what kinds of features would it include?
Bonus: Here’s a video we found that gives you a close-up look at both of these buildings as well as some of their neighbors.
About the author by Donna Choi
Born and raised in the States, I came to Seoul in 2009 and have loved living and working in such a high-tech and connected city ever since. I enjoy collecting unique, cute gadgets/items (I have a bread-scented smartphone case!) and traveling around Korea. My personal mission while living in Korea: Try every type of Korean food known to exist.