Humans have evolved to find nature and greenery pleasing to the eye. This is why, when we erect a building, the landscape around the new structure receives almost as much attention as the building itself. Landscaping has been defined as the process of making a garden or other piece of land more attractive by altering the existing design, adding ornamental features, and planting trees and shrubs.
Samsung C&T Engineering & Construction (E&C) Group practices landscaping around its building projects of various kinds. Through the use of various types of seasonal plants, the company strives to create aesthetic beauty according to each season for local residents, workers, and passers-by. More than a pleasant environment, Samsung C&T understands that good landscaping can respond to or mitigate environmental risks such as great heat, heavy rains, and ultra-fine dust. A third sign of good landscaping is that it shows that the needs and the characteristics of the residents have been taken into consideration.
In the end, Samsung C&T seeks to create “places with value revealed through the passage of time.” In recognition of this philosophy, Samsung C&T has repeatedly been awarded by the International Federation of Landscape Architects (IFLA), the highest authority in the world of landscaping. Let’s take a look at some of Samsung C&T’s achievements in the field.
Landscaping is not only about making the environment around a building look good; it can also have other benefits. For example, the density of urban architecture with large amounts of concrete and bitumen so close together has a tendency to trap hot air between buildings, creating so-called “heat islands.” Green spaces not only break up the visual monotony of gray and black but actually reduce the heat-trapping effect.
The IFLA, in its 2020 Africa, Asia-Pacific, Middle-East (AAPME) Awards, recognized Samsung C&T E&C Group for its Raemian Art-Rich Apartment in northeast Seoul, Korea. This project received an honorable mention in IFLA AAPME Awards’ Heat Islands and Fire Resistance category as a “heat-down” residence apartment complex.
Inside the complex there are about 1,000 square meters of cool shade provided by large hackberry and zelkova trees, and there is a 25-meter-wide green space on the outskirts.
A water-friendly resting place and a gate-type “cool mist” pergola were also built. The pergola features a smart temperature control system that reduces the temperature of the space by more than 3 degrees Celsius compared to the surrounding area. It does this by spraying fine water droplets into the air. Comfort can be increased by adjusting the size of the water droplets. The cool mist pergola automatically switches on when the temperature rises above 33 degrees Celsius and stops when it drops below 25 degrees Celsius.
Suwon Gwanggyo Lake Park
Another landscaping project by Samsung C&T E&C Group is Gwanggyo Lake Park in Suwon. This is now the largest lake park in Korea with a total area of over 2 million square meters. At its center there are two reservoirs that once supplied water to nearby farms.
“The recent trend in construction is not just to build but to do so skillfully in order to simplify maintenance and management,” said Park Yoo-jung, the director of Building Team 2 (Landscape Group) at Samsung C&T, adding, “We particularly paid attention to this point when creating Gwanggyo Lake Park. In utilizing the advantages of the formerly agricultural reservoirs as much as possible, we focused on forming the park ecologically.”
By minimizing the damage to existing neighboring reservoirs, Samsung C&T built the park in an environmentally friendly way. For instance, access routes were built between the two bodies of water while making sure that native wildlife could easily traverse them. Fish living in the water and trees around the reservoirs were preserved as much as possible. Lastly, 10,000 trees and 340,000 shrubs were planted throughout the park to create a green and pleasant environment.
Suwon Gwanggyo Lake Park received an Honorable Mention in the IFLA AAPME Awards’ Flood and Water Management category in 2018. In addition to 8 previous award-winning records in the fields of housing, general building and management, Samsung C&T became the one and only Korean company to be recognized for its excellent landscaping ability across different product lines and business areas.
A video showing off the remarkable daytime and nighttime beauty of the park is available below.
Seoul City Hall’s Green Wall
The seven-story tall Green Wall built by the Samsung C&T E&C Group at Seoul City Hall imbues the interior of that public building with a verdant beauty. The seven-story-tall upright garden wall spanning 1,600 square meters comprises 65,000 plants of 14 species and pleases the eye of every visitor.
The Green Wall, too, received an honorable mention at the 2017 IFLA award Asia-Pacific Landscape Architecture Awards in the Skyrise Greenery Category. It’s also listed in the Guinness World Records as the world’s highest vertical garden.
But it’s not just about aesthetics; the Green Wall also has functionality: it helps to clean the air inside City Hall, removing contaminants and dust, and to control the internal temperature and humidity levels.
On what gives Samsung C&T E&C Group inspiration, Park Yoo-jung says, “To get ideas about landscaping, we closely observe consumer trends. The more people want a pleasant environment because of climate change, the more interest there will be in landscaping. Landscaping gives a feeling of beauty and comfort quicker and more instinctively than anything else. I am proud that we can contribute to making a beautiful and comfortable environment.”
With the above achievements as feathers in its cap, and with a tenacious will to provide value to its clients by producing the best possible external environment at every site that it works on, the team of landscapers at Samsung C&T E&C Group hopes to keep inspiring and wowing people into the future.