House of Dior

Christian de Portzamparc, House of Dior, Seoul
Construction year: 2015
Address: 464, Apgujeong-ro, Gangnam-gu | SEOUL | South Korea
Latitude/Longitude: 37.52469, 127.04648

Christian Dior is delighted to announce the opening of a brand new Dior Boutique in Seoul. Nestled in the heart of the city’s elegant Cheongdam-dong, Gangnam-gu district, the innovative and unique building has been designed by the French architect Christian de Portzamparc, winner of architecture’s prestigious Pritzker Prize. The interiors have been designed by the internationally renowned architect Peter Marino.

Portzamparc’s ambitious new creation is a sculptural and fluid structure that redefines the landscape it sits in. Famous all over the world for his buildings including the LVMH Tower in New York that challenge the status quo of urban architecture whilst still remaining in keeping with the grandeur of their locations, the outstanding House of Dior Boutique in Seoul is no exception. The voluminous folds of its bright white façade were inspired by the fabrics, shapes and movement of the toiles created in Dior’s Haute Couture Atelier at 30 Avenue Montaigne. Taking the form of twelve soaring resin and fiberglass sails that stand proud above the building’s base, itself decorated with Dior’s cannage motif, the four year process of design and construction required significant technical innovation.

The six-story Boutique will house the exclusive world of Dior including accessories, fine jewellery, watches, womenswear, shoes and menswear as well as a VIP Lounge, Gallery and Cafe Dior operated by Pierre Hermé. The Peter Marino designed interiors blend inspiration taken from Dior’s iconic Avenue Montaigne flagship in the shape of a feminine and glamorous aesthetic with the modern, delivering a timeless take on elegance that showcases the brand’s exquisite attention to detail. Alongside luxurious interior design, a carefully curated group of artworks by some of the world’s leading contemporary artists has been chosen to display throughout the store.

On entering the building between the folds of its towering white sails, two intricate benches of woven branches and leaves created by the French sculptress Claude Lalanne take pride of place. Above them hangs an installation made of crystal, glass and aluminum by the Korean artist  Lee  Bul,  one of  Asia’s  leading  female  artists. Downstairs,  with  sleek  architectural symmetry, luxe materials, and rich, tactile finishes, marks the new multi-dimensional retail space for Dior Homme. On the second and third levels, the carefully considered art collection continues with furniture designed by the French artists Hubert le Gall and Hélène de Saint Lager, table lamps by Véronique Rivemale, a piece by the American artist Rachel Hovnanian in the shoe salon and a ceiling covered in the beautiful liquescent mirrored glass decoration of the artist Rob Wynne.

An exclusive VIP Lounge and Gallery to be used for private appointments sit on the fourth floor, with a reception featuring six framed drawings by the Austrian artist Lucas Zallmann and a sculpture by Carmelo Tedeschi. Step through into the adjoining gallery to find a pair of Innerblow benches by Nendo, lamps by Curtis Jere and a console by Juan and Paloma Garrido, all of which lend themselves perfectly to this unique space. Upstairs, the rooftop Cafe Dior by French pastry chef Pierre Hermé, provides an elegant space to relax after shopping and the perfect place to discover the unique world of tastes, sensations and pleasures of the Maison Pierre Hermé Paris. The inspired menu will include a carefully selected range of macarons, chocolates, ice cream and cakes as well as a special selection of Pierre Hermé Paris drinks and will evolve and grow according to the seasons and the desires of Pierre Hermé.

To celebrate the opening of this groundbreaking new boutique in Asia, Dior has launched a Limited Edition collection to be sold exclusively in Korea. Featuring handbags and accessories including special versions of iconic Dior items, all of the pieces will be numbered and engraved with the words “Limited Edition.”

From concept to design, experience to product, technical prowess to its extraordinary attention to detail, this unique and world leading new Boutique reflects the whole exclusive world of Dior from its heritage of timeless elegance to its modern essences of luxury and innovation.  It is scheduled to open its doors for the first time on June 20th 2015.

“I wanted the building to represent Dior and to reflect Christian Dior’s work. So I wanted the surfaces to flow, like the couturier’s soft, woven white cotton fabric. These surfaces, which soar into the sky and undulate as if in motion, crossed by a few lines, are made from long moulded fiber glass shells, fitted together with aircraft precision.

In Seoul, where the quadrangular buildings align with the avenue, and which are all occupied by leading international fashion labels, the building stands out like a large sculptural tribute to Dior, inviting everyone to step inside.

The entrance, where two shells come together, is a sort of modern lancet arch, in which two metal mesh surfaces cross in line with the clothing metaphor. Once inside, the customer makes a succession of discoveries – a feature typical of the interiors designed by Peter Marino.” Christian de Portzamparc

Local Architect / Project Manager
DPJ & Partners, Architecture

GFRP Façade Development
DPJ & Partners, Architecture Design Base

Structural Engineer
CS Structural Engineering

GFRP Façade Quality Control
Bureau Veritas

Lighting Designer
L’Observatoire International

Main Contractor
Kolon Global Corporation

GFRP Façade Sub-contractor
Design Base

Metal Façade & Curtain Wall Sub-contractor
Iljin Unisco

Building Area
4,408.57 m²

Construction Period
June 2013 to June 2015

Main Building Elements
Glass Fibre Reinforced Plastic (GFRP) façade composed of self-standing 11 panels
of 6m x 20m
Anodized aluminum panel claddings

Contributed by Christian de Portzamparc

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