Philosophy blends beautifully with form and function on the Korea Development Bank, adjacent to Seoul’s prominent Youido Park. The bank’s design expresses a strong sense of permanence within its local community and reflects the progressive spirit of the bank’s continuing role in Korea’s growing economy.

AECOM worked closely with the bank and was initially hired as project designer, and later became the owner’s representative during construction.

Within close proximity to the Korean National Assembly and Han River, the site borders a space similar to Central Park in size and proportion. The significance of the National Assembly was acknowledged by placing the main banking hall at the corner, using its unique elliptical shape to create a deflection toward the government building. Beyond the banking hall are two office sections separated by a grand internal atrium, housing both an underground subway connection and a public plaza at street level.

The building’s strong roof structure is reminiscent of traditional Korean architecture. An internal atrium separates two office sections, with the south building positioned toward Youido Park, appearing to float above the trees, defying gravity. The main entrance, located in the north building, provides a dramatic backdrop of city streets. Large, highly flexible, efficient floor plates were used to balance the project’s need for both a fluid and functional solution.

In addition to extensive office and conference space, the new bank headquarters includes three large banking halls, a 600-seat auditorium, a 750-seat dining hall, separate executive dining facilities, a 15,000–square foot library, and a trading room. Energy conservation was a major design consideration, addressed in the roof projection. Its design had a dual purpose, shading the interior atrium during hot summer months and allowing low-angle sun to warm the space during winter months.


  • 2003 Design Excellence Citation: American Institute of Architects, Los Angeles Chapter
  • 2003 Lighting Design Award of Merit: International Association of Lighting Designers
  • 2002 Best Large Office: Contract Magazine
  • 2001 National Award for Architecture: Presented by the South Korean Government & the Korea Development Bank
  • 1996 Exhibition of Current Work: American Institute of Architects, Los Angeles and San Francisco