Architecture

Multifaceted glazing bulges out of OMA's remarkable department store

Multifaceted glazing bulges ou...
The 12-story department store is situated in Gwanggyo, a town just south of South Korea's capital Seoul
The 12-story department store is situated in Gwanggyo, a town just south of South Korea's capital Seoul
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Galleria in Gwanggyo is located in Gwanggyo, south of South Korea's capital Seoul, in a burgeoning district dominated by residential towers
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Galleria in Gwanggyo is located in Gwanggyo, south of South Korea's capital Seoul, in a burgeoning district dominated by residential towers

Galleria in Gwanggyo was commissioned back in 2016 and completed in 2020
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Galleria in Gwanggyo was commissioned back in 2016 and completed in 2020

The 12-story department store is situated in Gwanggyo, a town just south of South Korea's capital Seoul
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The 12-story department store is situated in Gwanggyo, a town just south of South Korea's capital Seoul
Galleria in Gwanggyo is finished in a textured mosaic stone facade that makes it look like a massive stone cube
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Galleria in Gwanggyo is finished in a textured mosaic stone facade that makes it look like a massive stone cube

Galleria in Gwanggyo's bulging glazing offers views from within the store
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Galleria in Gwanggyo's bulging glazing offers views from within the store
Galleria in Gwanggyo's interior measures 63,492 sq m (683,422 sq ft), not including its basement
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Galleria in Gwanggyo's interior measures 63,492 sq m (683,422 sq ft), not including its basement
Galleria in Gwanggyo's eye-catching glazing hosts walkways inside the store
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Galleria in Gwanggyo's eye-catching glazing hosts walkways inside the store
Galleria in Gwanggyo's interior walkways provide access to its rooftop garden
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Galleria in Gwanggyo's interior walkways provide access to its rooftop garden
View gallery - 8 images

With its eye-catching glazing bulging out of a stone facade, the remarkable Galleria in Gwanggyo is one of the most striking buildings we've seen in some time. Designed by OMA, the department store is located in Gwanggyo, a town just south of South Korea's capital Seoul.

Galleria in Gwanggyo was created in collaboration with local firm Gansam and was commissioned back in 2016 and completed earlier this year. The project is located in a burgeoning district that's dominated by residential skyscrapers and is near a park.

Galleria in Gwanggyo's interior walkways provide access to its rooftop garden
Galleria in Gwanggyo's interior walkways provide access to its rooftop garden

The 12-story building is finished in a textured mosaic stone facade that makes it look like a huge stone cube. This is partly broken up by small porthole-like windows, but it's the larger multifaceted glazing that really makes it stand out. This provides light and views inside, as well as hosting walkways which offer access to a rooftop garden.

Inside the store proper, the basement level contains a market and deli, with jewelry stores and men and women's fashion on the floors above. There's a kid's section above that and a sport and leisure section farther up, with a large dining area on the 11th floor and a lounge on the uppermost floor.

Galleria in Gwanggyo's bulging glazing offers views from within the store
Galleria in Gwanggyo's bulging glazing offers views from within the store

"The Gwanggyo store is the sixth branch of Galleria – Korea's largest upscale department store franchise founded in the 1970s," says OMA. "Sculpted as a stone volume with a textured mosaic stone facade, the building evokes the nature of its neighboring Suwon Gwanggyo Lake Park. A public route is excavated from the stone volume and connects the public side walk to a roof garden – to include both retail and cultural activities. It introduces an innovative element to the traditional typology of a department store."

Source: OMA

View gallery - 8 images
2 comments
piperTom
I've seen ugly buildings, but usually they are old. This one has ugly baked in.
buzzclick
Reminds me of a not-so-liked building in a city not far from me. The locals say that the best view of the metropolitan area is from that building, because you don't have to look at it. When committees and architects get together for a building concept, they must avoid at all costs to create something that will be staring back at them for many years, and causing people to say "what were they thinking". A good design has longevity. This is a mash-up of aesthetic elements that clash with each other.