The 120,000-square-foot renovation of Seoul, South Korea’s Galleria Luxury Hall West comprised three women’s floors, one men’s floor and a homewares floor. A complete departure from typical South Korean shopping mall retail – made up almost entirely of shop-in-shops, with very little brand identity to the store itself – its new design provides a blank canvas, highlighting products with a trademark viewpoint that is Galleria-specific.
“We wanted a very elegant, neutral palette that evoked a lot of texture, but again created a really unique background for all of the brands,” explains Diego Burdi, creative director, Burdifilek. “We didn’t want to be so distinct with our visual opinions, so a brand could still feel comfortable living in it.” To create points of memory, and to lessen the visual vastness, the space is punctuated with exclusive design elements, including sculptural walls and a bean-shaped fitting room on a women’s floor, a sculptural room on the men’s department floor, and specialty, decorative lighting details in homewares – all referencing the store’s imaginative locale.
“There’s so much happening [with design in the South Pacific Rim] right now, and there’s a lot of play with paper, wood and stone,” says Burdi. “We needed something that spoke of an Asian-inspired environment, and we thought we should probably go down this road.” Connecting with the project designers’ intentions, VMSD judge, Michelle Isroff, vp, design, Big Red Rooster (Columbus, Ohio), said of the environment, “They took a neutral box and really played up the textures, and the sculptural aspects of what they did feel cohesive … It would be intuitive to shop.”