Boontheshop honored by AIA New York State

Sep. 2016

BOONTHESHOP is a 55,000sf multi-brand specialty store in Seoul’s luxury district, Cheongdam. The site is located in a dense urban area towards the top of a hillside with a primary approach from the North leading up a steep grade along a narrow street. Sharply inclined access from the West and South along with a precipitous downgrade approach from the East creates a site with a dynamic frontage allowing many opportunities for axial views to and from the site.

The rapid growth of Seoul has resulted in an amalgam of building typologies with densely nestled residential and commercial buildings.  Responding to the visually overwhelming nature of Cheongdam, we proposed a simple massing incorporating a distilled material palette. The result: two angular, white marble structures linked by glass bridges and set within a brick perimeter wall. The buildings thus become polished contemporary boxes set within the tangled urban framework of Seoul. Given the narrow passages and the hilled topography of the area, the building is revealed only in small, stark white slivers until one is immediately in front of it.

The structure is legally two buildings on adjacent sites with a limited number of connecting bridges permitted both above and below grade. The separate sites are governed by complex solar setbacks as dictated by the city; these regulations regarding the setbacks and site coverage directly impacted the initial massing of the structure. Typically seen as a disadvantage, the setbacks created an opportunity to disrupt the massing allowing for more sculptural forms along with numerous terraces benefitting from views of Seoul and the Han River. The bridges were situated to create a sense of continuity along the street frontage but also created an opportunity for an intimate and heavily landscaped sunken courtyard.

The building consists of 7 levels; 3 floors of multi-brand luxury retail, café, private club, cultural center, and a rooftop restaurant and terrace, a double height gallery space and automated parking.