Sunday, December 12, 2010


You might have missed this interesting article, which I found by accident in a report on the latest news from the Korean construction industry. The article didn't have any photos, but I found this amazing drawing from the referenced Tokyo project (click to enlarge):

Here is the article:

New Hyundai Apartment Complex Announced

Dec 7, Seoul, South Korea. In response to concerns here in Seoul over the recent shelling of Yeonpyeong Island, the Hyundai Engineering and Construction group announced today an addition to their successful Hillstate brand of apartment complexes. The new brand, “HellState” will be an underground complex of apartment buildings, completely safe from any North Korean artillery. The plan is already being heralded here by Korean industry insiders a sure winner of the 2010 Worlds Best Deepest Deluxe Dungeon Class of modern living award. It was quickly noted that because they are underground, these buildings will not be subject to Seoul city building height requirements – many complexes will be over 100 stories deep.

The design was rapidly dusted off from the archival vaults here late last month after the surprise North Korean attack. The original founder of the Hyundai group, Chung Ju-Yung, had completed an almost identical design in 1931. An architectural genius at only 15 years of age, he was conscripted by the Japanese to design an underground living complex. The “DepthScraper” was being planned in response to the devastating Tokyo earthquake in 1923, in which over 100,000 people died. Sadly that project was never completed. Due to a pre-war shortage of rubber, there weren't enough erasers for the draftsmen to finish the detailed designs, and the project had to be scrubbed.

Due to the political situation in the North, Hyundai company management has put the project on a Fast Track schedule. Initial housing orders will be accepted from the first day after the Lunar New Year. Prospective buyers are invited to a newly constructed sales office and demo home currently under construction on Yeonpyeong Island, exactly 200 meters underneath the largest shell crater. The locations of the new complexes are still under consideration, but at least two are rumored to be planned for Gangnam, and several in Paju. Hyundai engineers boldly envision the cityscape of Seoul will be quickly buried by a vast underground terrascape, leaving the remaining above-ground structures to be converted into parking lots and barber shops.

The only downside is the cost, which will be about 2000% higher than the typical apartment in Seoul. “We are asking people to consider their family's safety first, and to just dig deeper in their wallets to pay these increased prices”, said a company spokesman. Residents who want to survive the next North Korean onslaught are encouraged to contact their nearest Hillstate sales office for further information.