H&M Seoul by Universal Design Studio

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H&M by Universal Design Studio

Architects Universal Design Studio have created a perforated pleated facade for clothing retailer H&M in Seoul, South Korea.

H&M by Universal Design Studio

Each facet of the facade is perforated with patterns at different scales to increase the surface's tonal contrast and perceived depth.

H&M by Universal Design Studio

The project also involved creating an internal staircase, this the studio lined with vertical louvres.

H&M by Universal Design Studio

The design is to be rolled out across stores worldwide.

H&M by Universal Design Studio

More about Universal Design Studio on Dezeen »

The following text is from Universal Design Studio:


H&M, Seoul, Korea

Building on the continuing success of their work for international fashion brand, H&M, Universal Design Studio has now designed the exterior façade for the Korean flagship store in Seoul. This, the tenth site for H&M, is based on the distinctive modular design of other locations such as the H&M store in LA.

Universal Design Studio has accentuated the three-dimensional appearance of the facade by using small and large-scale perforations to produce tonal contrast and visual depth to the pleated cladding. The façade comes alive at night when concealed illumination turns the store into a dramatically lit beacon. The three-storey-high sculptural relief creates an effect that softens the hard, dominant lines of the existing building structure.

Internally, the design also includes a concept staircase created from a ‘ribbon’ of white glass. This forms the internal balustrade, and an articulated shroud of tightly stacked vertical louvers form the external walls.

Universal Design Studio’s rolling project with H&M is an example of their ability to tailor solutions to individual sites whilst still creating engaging spaces and brand continuity. The original brief was to create an iconic façade concept that could be used to brand the first Asian H&M flagship stores but the design has proved so successful that it is now used as H&M’s global identity and will be applied to stores all over the world.

Now established as two of the leading names in British design, Edward Barber and Jay Osgerby set-up BarberOsgerby together in 1996 and Universal Design Studio in 2001.

Universal Design Studio is a multi-disciplinary team of architects, interior designers and industrial designers specialising in the creation of unique built environments. The studio takes a consistent, holistic approach to spatial design and interior architecture and offers a profound understanding and interpretation of the full range of creative possibilities.


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  • fish fingers

    Digging this – simple(for want of a better word), beautiful, elegant, fits the 'brand'.

  • mohamed

    the architect used the element of lighting to add more beauty to the design which i think its been designed with conditions of that element.
    the fixed plates angles of the faced is reflecting light and allowing it to enter the building throw artistic opening done in the building it self which showing it own beauty.

  • Amna S.A

    What makes this building really nice is that the architect has used only vertical lines in the facade of the building which I think is a great inspiration of nature add to it the different materials in the interior and exterior and the lighting usage has a beautiful affect

  • shamma

    This is a great example for buildings which is basically built as a store.
    The designer did a great job by using the whit colors for the facade because it's showing the elements beauty and shapes.

  • http://studio-lmnoq.blogspot.com/ LMNOQ

    Everything about the design speaks to the H&M brand… Wonderfully done.

  • Tweedle Dum

    Like in the New Museum in New York the white seems to be working really hard. What does it have to do with clothing and the experience of shopping? The stairwell looks like something separate from the concept of clothing. Is it an egress stair? It any case the stair is beautifully done but seems independent from its context. There is only one image (night+day) with clothes and its from the OUTSIDE. Not sure what it is I'm expected to grasp in terms of retail design, there should be some images of the stairs relationship to the rest of the space..where are the thresholds?

  • http://www.bruundesign.co.uk bruundesign

    The exterior façade for this flagship store is very dynamic and great branding as it is based on the distinctive modular design of H&M stores.

  • Zino

    I was hoping/expecting this was somehow related to Issey Miyake… PLEATS PLEASE!

  • fizz

    Re. interior, ship in those cleaners from Hong Kong immediately! (See House DE in this same issue).

  • Edward

    The exterior is identical to the one at the H&M on Sunset in West Hollywood.