In designing the 15-story headquarters for international luxury clothier Shinsegae International, the design team sought to create an iconic landmark in the heart of Gangnam-gu, one of Seoul’s largest districts.
Completed in 2015, the commercial flagship unites more than five hundred Shinsegae employees, who were previously spread between several buildings throughout the city. The program includes staff offices, meeting spaces, design studios, a rooftop garden, and ground-level retail space that faces onto a public plaza.
The building is visually divided into two portions – the lower portion relates to the lively motion and interaction happening on the street, while the upper portion relates to the larger urban context of the Gangnam-gu neighborhood.
Movement and materiality are particularly evident within the building’s first four floors where seven custom eight-foot-diameter steel wheels open and close a series of custom 35-foot-tall external panels that modulate natural daylight. The dynamic ethos of the fashion world is captured in these kinetic components: each time the panels are engaged in a new configuration, the building’s presence is
The lower portion of the building relates to the pedestrian experience, and is all about revealing and display, i.e. making visible the large wheels and counterweights that move the metal panels.
The atypical façade treatment of the upper portion of the building employs a major/minor envelope grid that defies the expected floor breakup, resulting in a more pleasing proportion than the typical high-rise tower seen elsewhere in this urban context.
The rooftop garden provides a sky-level retreat for employees and sweeping views of the energetic city.
Chicago Athenaeum, American Architecture Awards, American Architecture Award
AIA Northwest and Pacific Region, Honor Award
Architizer A+ Awards, Jury Winner, Commercial: Office – Mid Rise (5-15 Floors)
CTBUH: Best Tall Building Awards, Finalist, Best Tall Building Asia & Australia
AIA Seattle Honor Awards, Honor Awards
Sacchi, Milona. “Kinetic Vintage.” Platform, anno III 2017, 44-48. Print.
“Awards Category Typology / Type Commercial: Office – Mid Rise / Winner Jury: Shinsegae International Seoul, South Korea.” Architizer: A+ Awards 2016, 2016, 49. Book.
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