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South Korea Plans Hashtag-Inspired Skyscraper 117

Posted by samzenpus
from the ampersand-estates dept.
cylonlover writes "The hashtag or "#" symbol has taken on a lot more use in recent years, especially with the rise of social media tools like Twitter, where it's used to highlight popular topics. So in a way, it's a fitting model for an apartment building designed to act as a self-contained neighborhood, which is exactly the idea behind the Cross # Towers planned for South Korea. Dutch architectural firm, Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG), is modeling the look of the proposed building after the familiar symbol, by placing two interlocking bridges between two skyscrapers, which will also support outdoor park areas to mimic the sort of spaces you'd normally find on the ground."
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South Korea Plans Hashtag-Inspired Skyscraper

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  • I applied (Score:5, Funny)

    by commlinx (1068272) on Monday May 07, 2012 @08:54AM (#39914403) Journal
    But apparently 140 other characters got in before me :/
    • by Joce640k (829181) on Monday May 07, 2012 @09:01AM (#39914469) Homepage

      In other news, a solitary hash symbol is now called a "hashtag"

      • by Sarten-X (1102295)
        Of course... with a word after them, they become "channels".
        • Indeed, and then people could use these "channels" to "chat" via some kind of... internet relay or something. I hope that isn't patented yet.

      • That's what caught my attention from the summary as well. Referring to hashes as "hashtag symbols" is rather circular. What's next - hashtagsymboltag symbol?

        • by FunkDup (995643)

          "hashtag symbols" is rather circular

          Curiously, "Hash Inspired Skyscraper" is also circular, and yet "The Hash Inspired Skyscraper" is anything but circular.

          • by gparent (1242548)

            Curiously, "Hash Inspired Skyscraper" is also circular, and yet "The Hash Inspired Skyscraper" is anything but circular.

            Ever tried designing a building after taking hash? It never ends up circular...

      • That's better than "octothorpe" and some of it's other names [worldwidewords.org].

        • Whatever happened to calling it the pound sign? Or is that just a telecom thing?
          • It's called a pound symbol because ASCII (And the character sets that once competed) didn't have a £ symbol. They were designed in the US, and with only seven bits to work with there was no room for symbols with little use in that country like accented characters and non-dollar currencies. So until the coming of unicode and other means of character encoding, typing a £ in the UK tended to break things - the only way to represent it was the upper-ascii character that not all software supported. T
            • by lsamaha (2034456)
              If you have it right, then Wikipedia has it wrong. "Historically, the pound name derives from a series of abbreviations for pound, the unit of weight." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Number_sign [wikipedia.org]
              • The name does appear to predate the use as a substitute-£ by a long way, which I was not aware of, but aside from that everything I said about its use as a workaround for limited pre-unicode character sets is true.
            • by jbengt (874751)
              "#" was used as a symbol for pound (force and mass, but not money) before I ever heard of ASCII.
              It has also been used as a symbol for "number" for as long as I can remember. (I can remember back to the '60s)
              Those two are also the most popular names for "#" in my experience.
            • by julesh (229690)

              It's called a pound symbol because ASCII (And the character sets that once competed) didn't have a £ symbol. They were designed in the US, and with only seven bits to work with there was no room for symbols with little use in that country like accented characters and non-dollar currencies. So until the coming of unicode and other means of character encoding, typing a £ in the UK tended to break things - the only way to represent it was the upper-ascii character that not all software supported.

              You seem to have it the wrong way round. The placement of £ at ASCII 35 in some early UK computer systems is, I am led to believe, based on a misreading of the ASCII standard based on the fact that it used the then already common (in the US) term "pound sign" to refer to the hash.

              People used a # symbol in place of the £ and shouted curses about stupid selfish yanks.

              No, we actually had computers that couldn't manage to produce a # symbol, and printed £ instead. To this day, if you have an Epson-compatible printer (which many of the printers used in POS systems, for example, still

          • by xaxa (988988)

            Whatever happened to calling it the pound sign? Or is that just a telecom thing?

            It's called "hash" in British English (and probably Australia, NZ, etc). I've never heard it called anything else here.

            "Pound" might mean money or old-fashioned weight. "Pound sign" "pound key" will always mean £, since the weight is always written "lb".

            And here it's always "Item No. 3" rather than "Item #3".

            • One poster mentioned something about it being used because there wasn't an ASCII character for the British unit of currency, but that explanation doesn't really fit this particular situation; Here in the US, Bell Labs (the "mafia enforcer" wing of Ma Bell's telco monopoly, back in the day), always referred to it as a "pound" sign for reasons I don't really care enough to find out...

              Probably just another piece of tech stolen by laying siege to a small town university, like they did with touch-tones.
              • by xaxa (988988)

                I don't think enough people in the UK would have been using computers back before they could reliably produce "£" for it to affect the language. It was easy to localise a computer for something like this -- at worst, just change the picture on the keyboard and the font bitmap for the corresponding character on the output device.

                In Britain if people can't type £ they generally write "pounds", GBP, UKP, L or even $. Writing # makes no more sense than using &, * or @. (Except, perhaps, that

      • by hey! (33014) on Monday May 07, 2012 @10:49AM (#39915395) Homepage Journal

        You just don't know how architects are indoctrinated^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H trained to think.

        A building doesn't exist in isolation, it is part of a dialog with its environment, particularly other buildings. The building itself isn't a hash tag -- it's a hash sign; it *converts the buildings around it into hashtags*, thus calling attention to the fact that the implied statements of their architecture *are indeed statements*. This building is a postmodern sigil. Obviously the architect of this thing must be an a**hole. Who does he think he is, reifing the semiotic implicatures of other architects' work?

        • by seringen (670743)
          Well, it is Bjarke Ingels Group, and they are well known as one of the most ridiculous and craven of architecture firms. He's been pining to do a huge asian project forever. His brand of thinking-free post modernity shouldn't reflect too poorly on architects or postmodernity or anyone with half a clue. He's popular because he has some hilarious branding...
      • by ArsonSmith (13997)

        No comment?

        Didn't mean to bash this conversation but it was a real perl of a joke right?

  • How long (Score:4, Interesting)

    by SJHillman (1966756) on Monday May 07, 2012 @08:57AM (#39914427)

    How long before someone hacks it to play a giant game of tic-tac-toe?

    • Re:How long (Score:5, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 07, 2012 @09:19AM (#39914599)

      How long before Microsoft buys adjacent land to build a similarly-sized "C" tower?

      • by KiloByte (825081)

        Considering they can't tell the difference between the hash/number sign and sharp, I wouldn't want to come anywhere near that skyscraper.

  • by phloe (264566) on Monday May 07, 2012 @08:58AM (#39914433) Homepage

    BIG are danish... not like the cake (which is a lie anyways)

  • by blackicye (760472) on Monday May 07, 2012 @08:58AM (#39914443)

    This skyscraper will probably have a Protoss tower nearby, powering it.

  • The hashtag symbol will probably be passe by the time they finish the building.
    • by operagost (62405)
      Nonsense. And I said the same to everyone who protested my selection of avocado color-coordinated appliances.
      • by unitron (5733)

        And those 40 some odd year old avacado colored appliances are probably still running better than ones made in the last 10 years.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    What is wrong with you?

  • Hmm, living in an octothorpe sounds like you might be looking for a fight. At least hashtag seems like you might get some down home cooking.
  • . . . sounds about right to me.

    Especially, since the architectural firm is Danish. Hash sometimes does that to you.

  • by QuietLagoon (813062) on Monday May 07, 2012 @09:16AM (#39914577)
    The hashtag or "#" symbol is also called an octothorpe.
    • I've always called it the "number sign", but most voice mail systems refer to it as the "pound key" for some reason.

      • by julesh (229690)

        I've always called it the "number sign", but most voice mail systems refer to it as the "pound key" for some reason.

        Except in the UK, where they tend to refer to it as "square". Which is perhaps even more bizarre.

        # was used as an abbreviation of "pound" because, I believe, it is considered to vaguely resemble the letters "lb", which are a common abbreviation of "libra", which is Latin for "pounds".

  • Who owns #? My theory is twitter does not.

    Twitter is a world wide service for mobile phone owners.

    World population is about 7 billion.

    According to wikipedia: "In February 2010, there were 5.6 billion mobile phone subscribers, a number that is expected to grow." This seems bogus high... there are people in 1st world with both business and personal phones, of course, but that would imply there are people who have no food, no water, no shelter, no medical care, yet pay a monthly phone subscription fee. hmm

    • I technically have a twitter account, I sent about 2 tweets, subscribed to some morons and some PR agents fronting for some media people, watched for awhile, said WTF is this and never used it again. I would assume this is a rather large fraction of their "subscribers".

      You've just described my google+ experience so far.

      • by vlm (69642)

        You've just described my google+ experience so far.

        Ahh but see

        I'm REALLY unimpressed. The most important and influential web 2.0 company is used by ... practically no one. The emperor has no clothes!

        The situation is similar, yet the G+ gets endless trash talking about how irrelevant it is and twitter gets endless trash talking about how important and influential it is. That is the difference.

        I've given up on figuring out a world wide IT/programmer counts. Best I could figure is github is well over a million users (not projects, but registered user count), we'll say that twitter is at most only 20 times more influential than github... however... there are a lot more programmers than github

        • I was under the impression that the hash tag is used by twits (tweeters? twitterers?) to tag other users in posts/tweets/whatever they are called.

          So you might be right that there are more # using programmers than # using twits, on a "unique users" basis, but I think they have you beat on frequency. For every time a programmer using the # symbol once, there are probably 1000 twitter users using the # symbol in a post talking about Ashton Kucher's bowel movements, or something else equally discussion-worthy

          • by julesh (229690)

            Not a twitter user either, but from what I've seen # identifies a topic keywork, @ identifies another user.

            Twitter just stole the character from IRC, anyway. I suggest everyone who used the Internet before about 1996 gets together and demands it back.

    • by crutchy (1949900)
      maybe borland should have sued port authority of new york for building the twin towers, since // is/was synonymous with their compilers (borland coming after the twin towers is of course just a technicality)
  • in korea, they call this the sharp symbol. so, sharp just sounds like a cool name for apartment complexes. there are several complexes all over the country built by posco (i think) with the # symbol on them.

    further, many complexes, like the daewoo trump complex i lived in had an elevated playground and fitness center. so, while this is a kind of neat variation. it is hardly news.

    • by EnempE (709151)
      This is 100% on the money. Those with Mods, please get this read. There are a number of building projects here with # pronounced sharp here in Korea. Most people know the symbol from their music education, for notating a sharp note e.g A#. Koreans are well aware of the slang use of sharp in English, but are not really concerned with how it is generally used. So 'The #' means something classy, stylish, and well designed in Konglish. This would have nothing to do with Twitter, or it would be called #t
  • LOL, The semicolon, apostrophe and exclamation point pose special challenges
  • by Comboman (895500) on Monday May 07, 2012 @09:29AM (#39914655)

    This is just the latest in a long line of punctuation-inspired architecture:

    ^ Pyramids

    / Leaning Tower of Pisa

    ~ Guggenheim Museum

    || World Trade Center

    • Then I'd really want to see one inspired by ':'...antigravity isn't easy :)
      • by Pope (17780)

        World Trade Center towers, as viewed from above :)

      • Then I'd really want to see one inspired by ':'...antigravity isn't easy :)

        That problem can be solved much easier than a working antigravity solution (which would most likely require considerable amounts of power to maintain a 1G acceleration away from the planet, while maintaining slightly higher than surface rotational acceleration)

        They could simply connect the upper and lower portions of the building via a set of poles in the 4th dimension.

        • by crutchy (1949900)
          i think "poles" in the 4th dimension are called axioms

          in poland it may be different though
    • O Fang Yuan Building

      ± Most churches.
    • Man, I'd hate to see the building inspired by the &.

    • by DSS11Q13 (1853164)

      This probably makes me an bad human being. But I imagined a terrorist trying to fly a plane into the # building and flying right through it. Not only is it relevant to my social media lifestyle, it's also terror resistant!

  • ...is that it's the first in a series of buildings to be built over the next 20 years. The next 4 are inspires by the letters ""L", "U", "L", and "Z".
  • by GameboyRMH (1153867) <gameboyrmhNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Monday May 07, 2012 @10:02AM (#39914945) Journal

    All other buildings on the street will be disabled when this is finished...

  • Kids playing 200m above the ground - groundbreaking idea... In other news: admins like to delete anything critical on their blog.
  • by jimmerz28 (1928616) on Monday May 07, 2012 @10:10AM (#39915035)

    "Originally the designers wanted to build just two incredibly tall towers, but height restrictions forced them to get creative."

    So originally it was boring as hell. It's sad that "designers" have to be forced to be creative.

    • Plain old towers are as close to optimal as you're going to get in terms of useable space per land area and useable space per unit cost. It's also a very extensively tested method safety-wise, and doesn't require overhangs. Why build anything else if you don't have to?
      • Because I'd like to have a city which inspires and innovates, not one made of toothpicks that bores and tires.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    '#' Means "Channel" to me. Always has, always will. I am of an age where that's what I learned and lived, and that means I am now too old to be able to change!

  • by flimflammer (956759) on Monday May 07, 2012 @10:40AM (#39915319)

    Since when is the symbol called "hashtag"?

  • I suppose this is an improvement over a design from another Dutch firm for residential towers in South Korea: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2072308/MVRDV-architects-reveal-plans-South-Korean-buildings-look-eerily-like-Twin-Towers-exploding.html [dailymail.co.uk]

  • The open spaces they mention seem a bad idea to me. At that altitude the wind is much stronger than on the ground. Even in good weather, you'd be sitting in a gale up there.

  • When they finish the ASCII set, it will be called Perl City.

    Lisp City has a lot of nested bridges.

  • has never been to Korea.
    The close-up of the kids running and playing doesn't remotely begin to approach the density that is going to exist if that opens here. Not to mention when is the last time a kid played with one of those round things and a stick?

  • If this is supposed to be like a self-contained neighbourhood, then it's "just" Corbusier over again.

Parts that positively cannot be assembled in improper order will be.

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