Burdifilek, a firm renowned for creating beautiful and considered spaces for global brands, is proud to unveil its visionary, multi-level design of The Hyundai Seoul, the largest department store in South Korea’s capital city. The retail landmark is part of a multi-use complex combining business, shopping, and leisure in a single destination.
The Hyundai Seoul introduces a new concept in shopping environments while forging a history by redefining the future of retail. Design elements, includes abundant greenery, expansive floorplates, and a Waterfall Garden, all contributing to a memorable relaxed customer experiences set against a backdrop of avant-garde fashion and visually stimulating contemporary design elements.
Tranquility by design
Burdifilek was commissioned to design three floors of the department store, including the Zen-like ambiance of the atrium. The soothing elements of the atrium are visible from all levels of the department store, nourished by abundant natural light drawn in through a skylight extending through the core of the building. Leveraging the building’s unique architecture with multiple voids throughout, Burdifilek conceptualized a green belt that would wrap around the spaces and provide continuity to an overall theme of tranquility and well-being. Taking cues from the grand piazza, the green belt becomes a runway for everyday life activities from social interactions to art displays, pop-up stages and inspiring encounters.
One begins their journey with an auditory sensation of a cascading waterfall. A gravity defying 12-meter-tall sculptural waterfall stands prominently in the main atrium, surrounded by organically shaped floating islands. The calming Waterfall Garden cascades through dancing water features with seating extending from its fluid forms.
The concept of nature is carried forward with reflective borders that mimic tranquil water patterns along the inner edges of the ceiling planes, creating the visual effect of glancing up at a reflecting pond.
Interpreting a new language
In conceptualizing the totality of each floor, Burdifilek drew upon its experience and expertise to perfect the details of each individual element to create a branded environment that is strengthened by the sum of its parts. From floors, to walls, ceilings, furnishings, fixtures, and materiality, each floor presents its own dialect of experiences and visual display elements, all tailored to the style of merchandise and the lifestyle trends of those most apt to shop there.
An experiential palette
Second floor: Sculpture Garden
On the second floor, Burdifilek’s interpretation of the future home for women’s high-end fashion is at the heart of elegance and timeless luxury. Anchored by iconic forms, with an emphasis on textures and sculptural tonality, the floor offers a gallery-like space for one to meander and explore. Use of gentle, indirect lighting accentuates fluid forms on the ceiling to radiate an ethereal quality. Custom hanging fixtures with refined detail elevates the feeling of lightness while providing a cohesive language for curated brands to shine. A combination of a subdued color palette with layers of reflectivity and translucency further boosts the sophisticated atmosphere.
Third Floor: Provocative Wilderness
In Contrast, on the third floor, the designers swiftly change up the mood and invites one to another world. Expanding on the concept of nature and the sculptural garden, this level takes on the abstract form of a blooming. While maintaining a degree of commonality with the second floor in terms of sculptural elements, this floor expresses them in bolder form, amidst a creative backdrop of shocking deep blue hanging systems, aggressive materiality with an emphasis on the contrast of natural and man-made materials, unfinished ceiling, custom built, vacuum-formed sculptural walls and a simple color palette that speaks more directly to the featured brands. In this modern retail emporium, the worlds of art, design and fashion collide to create a cultural experience that transcends beyond a mere shopping experience.
In approaching this ambitious project, Burdifilek’s vision was to create a strong point of view that would be memorable for the end user. In veering away from global retail trends, the firm designed the floors of The Hyundai Seoul to be easily approachable, while providing visionary design elements and color palettes that are both inspirational and aspirational. The project transcends traditional retail philosophy to offer a unique perspective on how common experiences like shopping can be greatly enhanced, and its successful completion reinforces Burdifilek’s reputation as an internationally renowned custom design studio.