MinJuKim is the fashion brand of famous Korean fashion designer Minju Kim. MinjuKim’s first showroom is located in Bukchon, an area where you can feel the oldest tradition in Seoul. Bukchon has many hanoks, and Korean traditional houses, and is an area where many tourists come from abroad. Hanok, a traditional Korean house, is generally made of wood, but the building on the site where Minju Kim’s showroom was planned was unusually a modern improved hanok with a concrete structure and a combination of hanok shapes. We were interested in the architecture of the time when structure and style were combined to create a new format, and it was not as if it were made as planned, but as an experiment of ideas and forms of architecture at the time.
When we looked at Minju Kim’s clothes and works, we could see all her work, from her rich imagination to her transformations and experiments on forms and materials, and we thought that the free forms that came out of her own way fit so well with this architecture. At the same time, she wanted her most important expression of her thoughts and imagination to be seen in the same context in space. So, we wanted this building to be a structure that contained the thoughts and emotions of hanok, not just borrowing in a style. We first deleted the walls except for the columns, and the windows were out of the columns so that the boundaries could feel extended. In addition, the pillars and beams were exposed so that they could be seen as frames, so when viewed from the inside, the landscape of the exterior came into the interior, and the boundary of the interior space was flexible from the outside, making the space look expanded.
We hoped that Minju Kim’s imagination, starting with sketches, would extend in space and even the showroom would be her drawing paper. He planned to capture the rich imagination and sensibility felt in Minju Kim’s clothes and sketches to become her own space, and he wanted to remove the colors of the interior and exterior of all buildings to leave only forms and repeated patterns, making them look like an architectural model cut and pasted with paper. And inside, metal and mirror materials that create distortion and reflection of space made us feel the experience of coexisting or transitioning between real and imaginary spaces.
The basement is Minju Kim’s workspace. The first floor is a space to show Minju Kim, but the underground floor is a space where Minju Kim thinks and produces. So, we designed facilities and devices for Minju Kim’s work only on the basement floor, and on one side, we designed a space for archiving Minju Kim’s work.
Architects: studio fragment
Lead Architects: Seo Donghan
Design Team: Seo Donghan, Kim Haejin, Song Jaewoo
Photographs: Kim Donggyu