Image, Incorporated : a study of securities buildings in Seoul, Korea
Study of securities buildings in Seoul, Korea
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This study deals with the images of corporate high-rises in Seoul, Korea, the main city of a rapidly growing industrial nation. The questions explored concern mainly the images of office high-rises. Five multi-story headquarters of securities companies were selected specifically to analyze this aspect. By interviewing the architects and managers of the respective companies, the thesis identifies the assumptions behind the designs in an effort to isolate and highlight the underlying meanings for the buildings. Drawing upon the transcripts of the ten interviews, the study attempts to analyze the following: What are the most powerful underlying images and how do these serve the corporations? Do the interviewees help clarify a useful set of criteria for identifying demands on corporate architecture more generally? Is there some single standard or common underlying ideal in high-rise office design? Given the international nature of the modem business world, is there a viable alternative to architectural conformity to First World trends? In addition, this thesis may clarify the process of choosing the image, identify the influential actors in the process, and show the degree of reliance on images originating from the United States. The variables of image used in this thesis are as follows: Image of Economic Success: Clients judge firms by the buildings they inhabit in terms of economic growth, social status, and financial credibility. The firms in tum use their buildings to store up public goodwill by projecting a positive image of themselves. Image of Visual Distinction: Recognizing that pre-eminence of skyline affects the market, companies desire high visibility for easy identification. Visual distinction serves as a marketing device and also as a corporate logo. Image of Internationalism: Office towers are thought to be products of the West and therefore not Korean. Although architectural innovation is welcomed, the public may have a negative reaction against a design which seems too reliant on foreign imagery. Image of Commercialism: The proliferation of "designer buildings" indicates that corporate architecture is heavily reliant on two dimensional flow of images. Image of Intelligence: The invisible high-technology content of the buildings becomes part of the image of corporate up-to-dateness in the public conscience. Image Shapers: Although the desire to recover maximum square footage is important, public perception greatly defines the attitudes of architects and clients in deciding the priorities for shaping the image projected by their building. The conclusion explores the question of identity, and whether the findings of this thesis can be used to develop a viable Korean corporate architecture as an alternative to First World trends.
Thesis (M.S.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Architecture, 1992.Includes bibliographical references (p. 70-74).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Architecture; Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Architecture
Massachusetts Institute of Technology