A Tour of Seoul's Most Interesting Architectural Landmarks

Lotte World Tower | © zjaaosldk/Pixabay
Lotte World Tower | © zjaaosldk/Pixabay
Photo of Linda Dunsmore
12 May 2017

In recent years, Seoul has been polishing its skyline with more architecturally advanced and taller buildings than ever before. Often doubling as commercial and residential spaces, the complexes offer visitors a different look on the city.


The 63 Building gleams in the distance
The 63 Building gleams in the distance | © Wikimedia
Glowing majestically in the setting sun, the 63 Building was once the tallest building in South Korea. This skyscraper is located on Yeouido Island in Han River, and houses the headquarters of Korea Life Insurance and Industrial Bank of Korea Securities, as well as the world’s highest art gallery on the 60th floor, an observation deck on the top floor and an aquarium.

International Financial Center Seoul

International Financial Center
International Financial Center | © Wikicommons
Currently the second-tallest building in Seoul, the International Financial Center on Yeouido Island is a 500,000m² (5,381,955 ft.²) complex that features the IFC Office Towers, the Conrad Seoul Hotel and the IFC Mall. The complex was completed in 2012 and designed by Arquitectonica, an international architecture firm headquartered in Miami.

Dongdaemun Design Plaza

Building, Architectural Landmark, Shop
Dongdaemun Design Plaza
Dongdaemun Design Plaza | © Forgemind ArchiMedia / Flickr
Seoul’s heart of fashion and art was designed by Zaha Hadid. The name translates to “Great Gate of the East” symbolizing its pursuit of empowering local artists and designers to follow their passions. The complex houses various exhibition halls and a crafts store, as well as venues for performances, such as the bi-annual Seoul Fashion Week. The distinctively neo-futuristic design completely transformed the area of Dongdaemun and gave Seoul a new and modern face.

Boutique Monaco

This 117-meter residential complex features 172 luxury housing units on 27 floors. The building, designed by Minsuk Cho, won the Silver Emporis Skyscraper Award in 2008 for its smart cube design and glass elements. The ground floor houses an architecture and art museum.

Seocho Garak Tower East

The soft shapes of the GT Tower let the structure shine among the regular business towers in its neighborhood. Inspired by Korean pottery, the facades of the GT Tower were designed to reflect the light differently from every angle. Visit at night and you’ll get to enjoy a beautiful dance of changing colors forming different patterns.

1317-26 Seocho 4(sa)-dong, Seocho-gu, Seoul

Seocho Garak Tower East | © Tuomas Lehtinen/Shutterstock

Olympic Stadium

The Olympic Stadium was built in 1988 for the Summer Olympics, but also held the 10th Asian Games in 1986. The complex was designed by Kim Swoo-geun who recreated the shape of a Korean porcelain vase from the Joseon Dynasty. Today, the stadium mainly hosts concerts of international superstars, such as Sir Elton John, Metallica or Coldplay.

Samsung Town

Samsung Town
Samsung Town | © Wikicommons
Samsung Town is the headquarters of the Fortune 500 company in South Korea. The complex serves at the electronic and IT center of Samsung and consists of three buildings. Each building was designed for a specific sub-division, including Samsung Electronics, Samsung C&T, and Samsung Life Insurance. The three towers of different heights are made up of cubes of different sizes to form one unity.

Lotte World Premium Tower

Having been completed in early 2017, the Lotte World Premium Tower is the newest addition to Seoul’s skyline. Sticking out of the ground like a sharp knife, the tower features shopping facilities and offices, as well as a seven-star luxury hotel. If you dare, visit the observation deck and rooftop café for thrilling views of the city.

29 Sincheon-dong, Songpa-gu, Seoul

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