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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Snow Hotel by 1990 UAO + Archigroup MA located in Banpo-daero 14-gil, Seocho-gu, Seoul, South Korea | The Hardt
(Translated from Korean to English) It is a common sense that detailing takes its place at the later phase of the process, and this is especially true for an architectural design. However, on the other hand, I think it is possible for detail to be the beginning of the process. The more so, if the process is for interior design. Although Mies van der Rohe said, “God is in the details” to emphasize and Rem Koolhaas stated, “no money, no detail, just pure concept” to put off the plan before anything, the detail was what connected the beginning and the end of this project. The detail is not limited to properly joining and finishing the materials. It motivates the design, brings harmony to neighboring materials, and sometimes the detail itself grant certain characteristic to the whole space. Every material has its own unique characteristics and it can be revealed through the detail. Properly displayed detail distinguishes itself from the other materials, and that uniqueness became the main material for the design for this project.
Floor, wall, and ceiling of the room are such common elements for architecture just like the ground, column, and roof. Hence, an old history of architecture can be defined as standing on the ground with your both feet, leaning your back against the wall and keeping your body under the ceiling. However, these elements, which seem to be all segregated, are treated slightly different in this project. The material that was usually used on the floor is now applied on wall or closet, some part of the wall is connected to ceiling (corridor), and floor and ceiling are reflecting each other like a mirror. Exterior wall material that was usually seen from a balcony is not forming a wall inside the room and even surrounding the entire interior space. The top of the fathomless wall, which is tall and lengthy, is bent and folded, hence, forming front desk and half arch on top and the mosaic pattern that is decorating the floor and ceiling of the 1st floor lobby covers the entire floor, wall, and slanted ceiling once it gets to the penthouse house on the top floor.
As shown in interior finish material legend fall architecture sheet set, base boar displace at the edges fall to floor and wall. Such element, which was added due to functional requirements, is part of both wall and floor. Molding at the edge of wall and ceiling is another example that exists and travels between two different elements. Door and window also make the similar relationship with the wall in the same manner. All these regular elements that construct the architecture become a key for a design, and there results obtained from the mixture of interpretation, decision, intuition, and response to this key. Material lays in-between matter and the result of the work using that material. In other words, matter turns into material and material turned into a building. However, there is another factor that material must have in order for it to be an architecture not merely building. That factor is called attribute. The attribute is like a prerequisite for the matter to be that matter, and a special process is required in order to put an attribute into a material. It’s the respect (or attitude towards) for material. In this project, fidelity and betrayal toward that respect coexist. Real is mixed with fake, thing-in-itself and phenomenon coexist, and characteristic and accident intersect each other.
Like the way the image on a mirror exist yet differ from its origin, the stone is thin and sharp yet heavy, and the tree is soft and warm while it is still hard. Brick is thickly stacked in one place, yet sliced and added in another place. Although it is hard to distinguish tile and wallpaper using their applied location and purpose, they are in fact the same as they both serve the same purpose of the cladding. Every material stays in the place where they belong to but still appears in unexpected places with the different image. In this project, the material is made from matter, but they share half the appearance and personality of matter. “There is no sound in the mirror and me inside the mirror is unable to shake my hand as he is left-handed, however, me from the mirror, who is opposite of me, is actually somewhat similar to me.” (Yi Sang)
Oftentimes, floor and ceiling share a similarity in many ways. They both have similar size and shape. However, man always walks on the floor and stay under the ceiling and it is uncertain whether it’s good or bad. They are different, yet similar to each other, and they look alike, but certainly not the same. But now, they are made to be perfectly identical to each other. The floor becomes a ceiling and ceiling becomes a mirror of a floor producing an illusion of looking down on a ceiling while walking on the floor. So the interior lightings are projecting both floor and ceiling at the same time. Of course, neither floor nor ceiling has a mirror on them. Black stainless steel is covering the entire curved wall and distorting naturally scattered chaotic lights on the ceiling into stars (lobby). The wall with a mirror on the opposite side of room entrance creates another exit that can never be used. Once you go into the room, you will encounter two bedrooms on each side, but there is no need for making a hard decision as one of the bedrooms won’t be able to shake my hands. The shape of combined light from the floor and the door inside the mirror is the same as the one that appears on the floor when you open the door. This is the overlapping moment between reality and delusion. Everyone look into a mirror at least once a day to shave or wear make-up. A mirror is a familiar object that people use in their everyday life, but in this project, it plays the role that grants a bit of unfamiliarity.
There are many pieces of furniture that are occupying the room, such as bedside table, closet, table, shelf, sin, and tub, but not all of them are brought from the outside of the room. Part of the wall pops out and changes its form to a headboard and certain part of that headboard turns into a small table. The floor, which has different heights like wide stairs of the plaza, changes into the chair or back support, center part of the floor rises and functions as table and headboard, sink and shower booth, which is part of a bathroom, are actually an extension of the room floor. A long table, where the television and laptop are placed on top, can be a mat for closet, bathroom and entrance floor. When water fills the sunken floor, it naturally becomes a tub, and carved round stone sticking out from the wall becomes a sink. When this wall reaches the bedroom horizontally, it becomes a large headboard that surrounds the bed obliquely.At last, the bed is no longer furniture. The bed is now part of the bedroom.
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Mu-A by Inexdesign, located in Jung-gu, Daegu, South Korea | The Hardt
Mu-A by Inexdesign, located in Jung-gu, Daegu, South Korea. In a forest of heavy concrete buildings, turning toward the inside of the downtown main road to narrow and dense alleys, located near Yakjeongolmok of Donseongro, center of Daegu, the Korean style dessert cafe Mu-A is a space for time travel with fragrant tea in an alley where modern and contemporary history of Daegu is alive. This space where we can drop in while touring modern alleys, welcomes visitors with diverse improved traditional menus such as Chalddeok (glutinous rice cake), Jeolpyeon (pounded rice cake) and Seolgi (steamed rice cake), Buchimgae (vegetable pancake) in three colors, Sujeonggwa (cinnamon punch with persimmon), and Sikhye (sweet rice punch), as if it reflects the feature of this alley.
This building borrows the shape of a traditional Korean many-storied building (Nu-gak), according to designer’s wish to embody a mass of structure floating in the air. The facade reinterprets the gate of the traditional building in which our ancestors felt season changes and breathed naturally. As we know Daeguis very hot in summer, and moreover, this building faces west with strong sunlight in the afternoon. Thus, the designer equipped a big motor-operated louver shading to control light and wind. The exterior scenes of the cafe Mu-A are not wonderful just like that of the ordinary downtown back alley. The punched louver showing exterior scenery also plays a role in bringing the strong afternoon sunlight and surrounding scenery into the interior space more softly by filtering them. The louver was derived from the traditional Bunhapmun (a sliding door to shut the plank-floor room off from the yard), and to which color of Hanji (traditional paper made from a mulberry tree) was applied. In addition to this, a flower muntin pattern, one of the traditional decoration techniques used at Buddhist temples and palaces, was also applied repetitively to both inside and outside.
In terms of structure, the designer though out cantilever and floating mass of the first floor. The first floor which looks floating in the large yard to embrace its surroundings. This is a traditional and buffering space between the alley and the building, and also an important element to neutralize difference between this building floating tranquility and the crowdedness of the street. It expresses the layer of traditional space with skip floor by borrowing the method from a village with the level difference by natural slope and presents dynamic human traffic line and attractions.
‘Welcoming’ space on the stereobate of the first floor tells the start of space. Human traffic line becomes complicated due to the interior space with six steps, which influences the service style of each space. For this reason, interior space assumes the from grafting self-serving style on staff-serving style. Centering around the counter table on the first floor, there are the main kitchen and an auxiliary kitchen in the basement and the second floor each. Meals are sent from the main kitchen to each floor through a dumbwaiter and served on each floor. To employees, the human traffic line of multi-storied building is more complicated than that of a one-storied building. However, the human traffic lines from the hall of the second floor to room and service area half floor up and from the hall half floor up, give diversity to space through the repetition of wideness and narrowness. There is a small pond between the hall of the second floor and service area half floor up, and a flower muntin door has a fragrance in the middle of the space, revealing shy looks. The pond can be also used as a small stage for the performance. Flower muntins are connected to the wall pattern and are in full bloom as thousands of flowers on the louver of the facade.
The ceiling of the third floor is high in order to give openness to visitors on the top floor, to attempt natural movement through human traffic line, and arranges the ‘tea room’, the most sacred place in this building. Wooden ceiling frames woven in three dimensions emphasize the identity of the building and play a role to stabilize the hanging tea room visually. In terms of structure, the tea room applicable to the fourth floor means a divine room and the bright sunlight pouring through skylight creates a dreamlike atmosphere. The designer used familiar materials like wood, steel, stone, and paper as finishing materials, and tried to express this space plainly and cleanly. For designers working with clients is all precious but that with clients giving full trust gives the most pleasant time. This work involved a series of time-consuming, complicated processes from design to construction. Thus, without the client’s trust, it could not be possible to finish this work. I would like to thank the client again. For me was really valuable time to look back and learn more.
© Jae Yoon Kim
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