Sulwhasoo (2016) by Neri & Hu Design

Located in 650, Sinsadong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul, Korea, Coreia do SulAMORE Sulwhasoo (2016) by Neri & Hu Design Head Office and Research Office | The Hardt

 

 

 

 

Located in 650, Sinsadong, Gangnam-gu, Seul, Coreia do SulAMORE Sulwhasoo (2016) by Neri & Hu Design Head Office and Research Office. The literal and mythological meaning of the lantern is very significant throughout Asian history – it guides you in the dark, showing you the way and indicating the beginning and end of a journey. The radical transformation of Neri & Hu of an existing building of five floors in Seoul, South Korea, a large main store to the leading Asian brand in care for the skin, Sulwhasoo, was inspired by this idea flashlight. The building was designed by the Korean architect IROJE and built in 2003. Celebrating the roots of the brand, Neri & Hu wanted to develop a concept with strong links with the culture and traditions of Asia,  in order to allow customers to discover the wealth of Asian wisdom, the basis of Sulwhasoo’s ideals.

 

 


 

The concept originates from three main points, defined at the beginning of the project: Identity, Journey, and Memory. Neri & Hu aspired to create a space that appeals to all senses, which captures the customer immediately as they approach the building, creates an experience that continues to unfold during the journey inside the store, and leaves a strong impression on visitors for a long time after they left. This is what led to the concept of the lantern, where a continuous brass structure is an element that unifies the store as a whole, guiding customers as they explore the full extent of space.

 

By creating a series of empty spaces and openings in the building, visitors fully experience the structure that moves through space and involves the different programs.  Mirror volumes are inserted between wood compositions to reflect and magnify the seemingly endless structure. The delicate structure rests on a solid base of wide wooden floorboards, which occasionally stands to form wooden counters with solid blocks of stone, on top of which Sulwhasoo products are displayed as precious objects. Although it is primarily a guiding mechanism, the lantern structure is also a light source – hanging inside it are custom light fixtures that transform the structure into the main attribute to frame and highlight the products on display.

 

 


 

Walking through the five floors, customers experience changes in the atmosphere. The spa in the basement with its dark brick walls, gray rough stone treatment rooms, and crafted hardwood floors offer a sense of intimacy and shelter for visitors. Going towards the upper floors of the building, the palette becomes lighter and more open, inviting visitors to interact with space, culminating finally in a terrace with a cover that frames views of the city.

 

The journey offers constant contradictions: closure and openness, darkness and light, delicacy and weight. The holistic approach to the lantern concept – from space design to signage lighting – gives visitors an endless sense of intrigue and instigates them to explore spaces and products with passion and pleasure.

 

 

© Pedro Pegenaute

 

 


 

 

 

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