Hanwha Group is South Korea’s largest upmarket department store chain known as Galleria and their new Gwanggyo Galleria store is the company’s sixth retail establishment.
Architectural firm OMA were retained to design an exciting architectural statement for Hanwha’s new investment.
Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA) is a Dutch architectural firm based in Rotterdam and was founded in 1975 by Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas together with Greek architect Elia Zenghelis.
Located in Gwanggyo, south of Seoul, the very contemporary building features a cantilevered serpentine diamond walkway attached to the mosaic stone facade of the building. The pixelated pattern of the walkway adds texture and light to the structure. Multi-faceted glass slices through the facade which acts as a public walkway for visitors to access retail and other spaces within the building.
As light changes and reflects off the glass, the building takes on different moods and at night the glow of interior lighting beckons from within.
The upper floors house cinemas, special club spaces and a cultural centre. A VIP and club lounge, the Boulevard and a cultural centre are situated on level twelve.
The architectural team was headed up by OMA partner Chris van Duijn who described the building thus; “On every level there is a relationship among the loop, the central space, and the surrounding shops. The route is sometimes excavated from the building, eating its way through the stone and other times the glass openly exits the facade, creating a steel structure of regular triangular grids.”