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Designed by Foster + Partners, the Hankook Technodome promotes interaction and collaboration among employees. Credit: Hankook Tire.
The facility features suspended oval pods for conducting spontaneous team meetings. Credit: Foster + Partners.
The facilities of the Hankook Technodome are arranged around a top-lit central spine. Credit: Hankook Tire.
The project has achieved LEED Gold certification through the incorporation of sustainable features. Credit: Hankook Tire.

Hankook Technodome is a state-of-the-art research and development (R&D) facility built for South Korean tire manufacturer, Hankook Tire. Located in Daejeon, South Korea, the facility was inaugurated in October 2016.

Foster + Partners designed the facility, which was broke ground for construction in June 2014 and was built with an investment of KRW266.4bn ($233.8m). The new facility is the second R&D facility built by Hankook Tire in Daejeon.

The R&D facility is a core part of Hankook Tire’s global plan to drive innovation and increase its global competitiveness. The company plans to carry out mid-to-long term research and development activities, as well as work on new and future-oriented technologies such as electric vehicles and self-driving cars.

Hankook Technodome design

The Daejeon facility is built on a 70,387m² site and has a floor space of 96,328m². Featuring a floating silver roof, the facility’s design emphasises on communication between the company’s staff members. It creates an integrated workplace with an open culture that promotes interaction and collaboration.

The building plan provides visual associations between various areas of the facility and has a flexible design to enable future changes. The lobby doubles as an exhibition area for displaying Hankook Tire’s latest products and also provides views of the testing areas.

The facility includes a six-storey R&D building and an eight-storey residence building. The research areas of the R&D building are arranged around a top-lit central spine and have a flexible design ranging from isolation pits to full height spaces to accommodate modern equipment such as a driving simulation system and suspension parameter measuring machine.

Suspended central meeting pods located across the building emphasise the open culture of the company and promote physical interaction. The pods can act as light wells and be used for conducting spontaneous team meetings.

While promoting an open and shared environment, the circulation routes within the building have been designed in such a way as to create a natural partition between the public and private product development zones.

Facilities at the new R&D centre

The residence building of the R&D centre includes education, medical and welfare facilities for the employees. While providing accommodation for employees, clients and trainees, the building features a play lounge that includes a café and relaxing area. A proactive lounge is provided with entertainment options such as movies.

A daycare centre for employees’ children and a fitness centre for employees are also provided. A medical room offering medical services and a therapy room are also part of the building.

Sustainable features of Hankook Tire’s new facility

The Hankook Technodome has achieved LEED Gold certification through the incorporation of a number of sustainable design strategies. Eco-friendly and recyclable building materials were used for its construction.

The facility features a recharging system, which uses geothermal, solar and other alternative energy sources thereby reducing dependency on fossil fuel energy sources. Energy consumption is minimised through the use of natural ventilation and lighting.

Natural shades and high-performance insulation have also been incorporated to reduce dependency on the building’s cooling system. In addition, waste heat from the R&D building is used to heat the residence building, which further reduces energy consumption.

The building is also equipped with a carbon dioxide sensor that helps to control indoor air quality and maintain active air-conditioning. The parking areas of the building have been located in the basement to reduce the pavement process and thermal island effect.

A lake has been developed towards the southern entrance of the facility to harvest rainwater, which can be used for cooling purposes.