The World of Lotte
Lotte started in 1948 by a Korean businessman in Japan. The company produced bubble gum and other confectionary delights. Today Lotte owns a diverse portfolio of businesses:
The Lotte Lot
Over the years, as Lotte expanded into more sectors, the conglomerate swallowed two oversized city blocks and a lake in Seoul’s Songpa District. There they built premier shopping destinations, a theme park, and Seoul’s tallest skyscraper.
Let’s break down this Lotte metropolis into two sides.
- West Lotte Complex sits in the Jamsil Neighborhood (잠실동; map).
- East Lotte Complex hangs out across the street in the Sincheon Neighborhood (신천동; map)
Lotte World’s interior is a three-story open atrium. Stand on the bottom floor, where the skating rink hums, and glance through its upper levels where kiddie rides buzz to the building’s geodesic glass top.
Lotte’s western complex also includes:
East Lotte Complex
Lotte’s eastern complex first opened in 2014, about 20 years after the western complex. It comprises the nation’s tallest skyscraper and two department stores.
- Lotte Tower (롯데월드타워; map) opened in 2017. Measuring 555 meter tall (1,821 ft) with 123 floors, the skyscraper is Korea’s highest (sixth globally). Korean ceramics inspired the Lotte Tower tapered facade. Observation decks, open to the paying public, occupy the skyscraper’s top six floors. Apartments, a hotel, and businesses claim the other floors.
- Lotte World Mall (롯데월드몰; map) is a 244,000-square meter retail space opened in 2014. Its 11-story main building holds a mall, movie theater, concert hall, and more. A separate 8-story structure hosts a duty free department and AvenueL, an upmarket brand for shoppers unaware of the word “budget.”
- Lotte Aquarium (롯데월드 아쿠아리움; map) sits in Lotte World Mall. It features the largest fish tank and underwater tunnel in Korea. Animals from freshwater ecosystems and all five oceans swim around the aquarium’s exhibits.