[Sponsored Report] Samsung C&T applied new tech to make plaza

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[Sponsored Report] Samsung C&T applied new tech to make plaza

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An aerial view of the Dongdaemun Design Plaza. Provided by the company

The Dongdaemun Design Plaza, a cultural and industrial complex, is finally being unveiled to the public today. But its construction could have never been completed without the use of new, innovative technology from Samsung C&T.

The unique, curved design of the building, devised by renowned Iraqi-British architect Zaha Hadid, was impossible to create with pre-existing 2-D technology.

Instead, Samsung C&T used Building Information Modeling (BIM), a 3-D computer database floor-planning method, to manufacture the exterior panels in different shapes and sizes.

Although many recent construction projects have used BIM in part, the use of it for an entire construction process was unprecedented until now.

Its domed exterior meant that Samsung C&T, which built the plaza, needed to create 45,133 individual panels in varied shapes just to construct the outer layer.

Thanks to the use of the advanced BIM technology, the panels fit into place perfectly, with no need for any corrections to be made.

In addition, the company researched various metal-forming technologies employed in fields such as shipbuilding, as well as airplane and automobile manufacture, to choose the most appropriate technique of cutting and shaping the metals needed to create the two-way curved panels of the building.

The structure’s exposed mass concrete also had to adhere to the curved design of the plaza, and BIM was again utilized to make a special plywood mold designed especially for this construction.

The molding technique needed exact precision and quality control to ensure the concrete would not have to be polished after setting.

Polystyrene molds are usually used in these types of construction projects, but Samsung C&T instead created a cast from plywood, which concrete is less likely to stick to. This allowed for the construction of a mold similar in shape to a human’s rib cage and left less room for mistakes, resulting in a smoother finish.

The production of the building’s interior was no less difficult, and further creative construction processes were required for Hadid’s design to come to life.

A space frame - a strong structure used to create large areas without using pillars - was applied to build the curved inner walls of the design plaza. Mega-truss - a long and straight structure comprised of connected triangular units usually used to support large bridges - was then harnessed to support the cantilever structure of the space frame.

To match the interior to the curved outer walls, Samsung C&T carefully selected the most flexible materials, including natural plasterboard, glass-fiber reinforced gypsum board, absorbent cotton and artificial marble.

Each material was chosen not only for its suitability in creating the curved walls, but also for its strength and safety.

Natural plasterboard is an environment-friendly, fireproof material that absorbs noise effectively, while glass-fiber reinforced gypsum board is an eco-friendly material used to support plasterboard layers.

Absorbent cotton is made from cotton and other natural ingredients and can absorb the air’s toxic substances, as well as loud noises and unpleasant smells

Artificial marble was employed as a substitute for mineral marble because it is far more flexible yet still retains a luxurious appearance.

The use of the most appropriate materials resulted in the sleek and shiny inner walls of the Dongdaemun Design Plaza - a feat considering expense was a factor in choosing the most appropriate substances for the building.

“The new BIM technology and endless trials with visual mock-ups made it possible to construct the nearly perfect match of the plan,” said a Samsung C&T official.

“None of the process was easy for us. However, we now have world-class technology that will satisfy the increasing demand for the technology to build the atypical structure.”

By Kim Young-shin [yskim11@joongang.co.kr]

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