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Louis Vuitton's new store in Seoul

Frank Gehry's first project in South Korea

Louis Vuitton's new store in Seoul Frank Gehry's first project in South Korea

A few days ago Louis Vuitton opened the doors of its new store in Seoul with a party that saw the presence of Hollywood stars such as Chloe Grace Moretz and Alicia Vikander. Located in the city's Gangnam district, the building is the first creation by Frank Gehry in South Korea and, besides sharing many similarities with the LV Foundation in Paris, also designed by the well-known architect, is a tribute to the culture of the Asian country. 

What struck me when I first visited Seoul nearly 25 years ago, was the relationship between the architecture and the natural landscape. I still remember clearly the powerful impressions I had stepping up from the garden of Jongmyo Shrine. I am delighted to have designed Louis Vuitton Maison Seoul, reflecting the traditional values of the Korean culture.

Gehry stated, revealing a few of the inspirations behind this project: the 18th-century Hwaseong fortress and the "swooping movements and white costumes" of the Dongnae Hakchum (Crane Dance). These elements of Korean historic architecture turned into an almost poetic structure marked by a single curved glass entrance that covers the entire facade, from a high zig-zagging vestibule and windows to a series of enclosed terraces culminating in waves of louvred glass panels.  Every detail, as well as the white stone walls, has been designed to evoke the feeling of flight, of a "weightless" building able to touch the clouds. 

Inside, Pietro Marino played with height and texture, alternating the 12-meter high entrance with smaller lounges created for an intimate shopping experience and distributed over five floors connected by a "floating" staircase. 

The interior spaces were designed with a Miesian rigor to more strongly emphasise the billowing energetic sculptural quality of Gehry’s exterior. The interior stone flows in from the exterior. The dynamism of the rectangular volumes cleanly contrast with the baroque glass shields of the building. 

In the basement there are Louis Vuitton's men's collections, while the glass vestibule on the first floor opens directly onto a space dedicated to women's collections. Everywhere, floral art installations, lush plants and colourful furnishings frame Louis Vuitton's lines of accessories and ready-to-wear, as well as selected household items, including models from the Objets Nomades collection.