As one of South Korea‘s leading department stores, Shinsegae is a fixture in the country’s retail landscape, operating a string of high-profile outposts across Seoul and other major cities nationwide. Still, the upscale retailer saw room further expansion, and recently opened a new department store in Daejeon, a sizeable city and hi-tech hub in the middle of the country. Situated right next to Expo Park, on the west bank of Gapcheon Stream, the so-called Shinsegae Daejeon Art & Science department store is a multi-storey department store that indulges shoppers with a new retail concept that blends retail with culture, art, and science, but also comes with a branded 171-room hotel which occupies several floors of the soaring Expo Tower. The company tapped New York City-based architecture and design practice Jeffrey Hutchison & Associates to design the store’s ground and first floors.
Measuring a whopping total of 120,000 sq.ft. (11,148 sqm.), the premises feature a ‘modern Italian villa’ design theme in the spirit of iconic Italian architects such as Luigi Moretti and Carlos Scarpa. The aim was to create a grand hall using classic design elements, such as vaulted ceilings, bone-white plaster and custom decorative light pendants that highlight the circulation paths. The flooring reimagines an Italianate mosaic floor, but with a contemporary pattern using contra black and white marble slabs. The splendour is a fitting backdrop for luxury fashion brands such as Bottega Veneta, Saint Laurent, Gucci and Fendi, a wide range of jewellery brands, including IWC, Jaeger-Le Coultre and Boucheron, but also an even bigger number of cosmetics brands. One floor up, the aesthetic takes cues from the sculptural works of Barbara Hepworth, Henry Moore, and the cubist works of Georges Braque.
The modern women’s section includes black marble flooring, and bone-white hand plaster sculptural elements on the walls, ceilings, and exaggerated columns to provide an intimate yet inviting shopping experience. A sculptural, contemporary environment was created for the men’s area which, similarly to the women’s floor, features various shop-in-shops by top fashion brands. Blonde oak covers the walls and the dimensional ceiling for a masculine feel, while sequoia brown marble tiles on the floor emphasise the asymmetrical patterns of the space. The retail concept’s art and science bit comes in the form of The Art Space 193, a 193-metre-high observatory which also features artist Ólafur Elíasson‘s colourful installation The Living Observatory, in addition to Shinsegae Nexperium, a science museum focusing on robots, biotechnology, and space, and Daejeon Expo Aquarium, a media art combined aquarium, featuring a 4,200-ton tank filled with approx. 20,000 fish of 250 different species.
Designed by Jeffrey Hutchison & Associates
Images © Jeffrey Hutchison & Associates
Photography: Namsun Lee