Built in the town of Gwanggyo, south the capital Seoul, the Galleria department store has been designed to be a landmark for the area’s housing district.
The cube-shaped building is clad in tessellated triangles of stone. The mix of beige, brown and earthy colours is designed to make the building appear like a slab of rock or a cross-section of earth.
Breaking up the geometric shape of the 10-storey department store is a multifaceted-glass passage that is wrapped around the building, projecting from the facade.
The glass-enclosed passage starts at ground level and passes twice around the building, providing access to each floor an finally the roof terrace.
“With a public loop deliberately designed for cultural offerings, Galleria in Gwanggyo is a place where visitors engage with architecture and culture as they shop,” said OMA partner Chris van Duijn.
“They leave with a unique retail experience blended with pleasant surprises after each visit.”
According to the architecture studio, the multifaceted glass walkway will help to connect the shopping complex to the town.
“The public loop entwines Gwanggyo and the Galleria by making visible and tangible the activities of shopping typically hidden from the city,” added OMA associate Ravi Kamisetti.
A food market and deli are located in the building’s basement, with eight retail floors above it. Along with stairs and lifts all of the floors are connected by the glass external loop.
The department store’s upper floors, which are also access for the passageway, contain leisure facilities.
The eighth floor contains bars and restaurants, the ninth and tenth a multi-screen cinema and the eleventh a space described as the “lounge and academy.”
Galleria hope that the Gwanggyo department store, its sixth, will offer its customers a different experiment to standard stores.
“Through collaboration with world-class architect OMA, it is well received both domestically and internationally for its creative architecture that is distinct from typical department store format,” said Hanwha Galleria president and CEO Eun Soo Kim.
“Galleria Gwanggyo is the most beautiful department store and is expected to become a unique landmark representing Korea and the world, providing a new inspiration to customers.”
OMA is a Dutch architecture studio founded in 1975 by Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas. It has previously added a glass escalator to the Saks Fifth Avenue department store in Manhattan and is designing The Link department store and hotel in Vienna.
The studio has recently completed a hotel tower in Amsterdam and a sports centre at Brighton College in the UK. Koolhaas and OMA’s research wing AMO recently unveiled an exhibition at the Guggenheim that aimed to “to put the countryside on the agenda again”.
Photography is by Frans Parthesius.
Executive architect: Gansam
Contractor: Hanwha Engineering&Construction corp.
Facade consultant: VS-A
Curtain wall consultant (smart node): Withworks
Model maker: Edelsmid Emile Estourgie with Yasuhito Hirose and Made by Mistake, RJ Models Model
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