Seoul gets a new landmark building, which happens to be the latest Christian Dior boutique. 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 for his buildings that challenge the status quo of urban architecture whilst still remaining in keeping with the grandeur of their locations, such as the LVMH Tower in New York, and now the outstanding House of Dior Boutique in Seoul. 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, women’s wear, shoes and menswear as well as a VIP Lounge, Gallery and Cafe Dior operated by Pierre Hermé.. 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.