In a spectacular new collaboration with revered architects Frank Gehry and Peter Marino, Louis Vuitton unveiled its latest Maison in Seoul, South Korea on 31st October 2019. Perched atop the prestigious Cheongdam-dong area of the Gangnam district, the collaboration marks Canadian-born American architect, Frank Gehry’s first creation featured in the nation.
Displaying strong connections between the architect’s Foundation Louis Vuitton in Paris and Korean culture, Louis Vuitton’s latest Maison, continues the brand’s long history of exhibiting work by Korean artists and hosting major events in the city. One such event includes the Volez Voguez Voyagez exhibition in Dongdaemun Design Plaza which paid homage to the brand’s heritage and history in 2017.
Designed to give an impression of flight, the Maison Seoul incorporates roofs found in traditional Korean architecture, and louvred glass panels which allow natural light to filter throughout the building. In a zig-zagged formation, the building also features a series of private terraces above ground.
Heavily inspired by his visit to the Jongmyo Shrine, Gehry aimed to design a space which interacts and blends seamlessly into the natural landscape. Built five storeys high, the Maison Seoul boasts a combination of the brand’s luxury clothing, accessories and a permanent collection of art and archival objects… plus a temporary exhibition space for future events. As of its of its recent opening, the exhibition space currently features sculptures by the late Swiss artist Alberto Giacometti.
With Gehry designing the exterior, the Maison Seoul’s interiors were left in the expert hands of American architect, Peter Marino. Differentiating each floor through the creation of unique “universes”, the Maison Seoul features a palatial, twelve-meter high entrance hall which contrasts the space’s other more intimate lounge areas.
Incorporating German-American architect, Mies van der Rohe’s signature international style, Marino’s design aimed to emphasize the billowing and energetic sculptural quality of Gehry’s exterior using dynamic rectangular volumes in contrast to the building’s baroque glass shields.
With its open spaces featuring a mixture of white walls and pale wood floors and shelving, the Maison’s secluded rooms and private salons are fixed in stone for an exclusive and carved-out niche feel.
Connected by floating staircases, Louis Vuitton’s menswear collections are housed in the basement, whilst womenswear are featured on the first floor, followed by private spaces with enclosed terraces on the subsequent floors.
Showcasing personalized touches by each architect – Gehry’s trademark colorfully scrunched-up paper trees are displayed in the shop window and Marino’s specially curated store furniture decorates the space. These elements along with art by Mark Hagan, Anselm Reyle, Brendan Smith and Marcello Lo Guidice aim to lighten the space with a bright field of colour.