Red mirrored lattice encloses South Korean office block by Wise Architecture

A cage-like structure made from strips of mirrored metal and red plastic encases this Seoul office building by South Korean studio Wise Architecture (+ slideshow).

Red Mirror by Wise Architecture

Named the Red Mirror building, the three-storey office block was designed by Wise Architecture for the Gangnam district of Seoul.

Red Mirror by Wise Architecture

Slender bands of mirror, glass, steel and translucent red polycarbonate plastic form a grid enclosure for the two glazed levels visible above ground and a balustrade for a roof terrace.

These strips are arranged in alternating horizontal and vertical layers to create a lattice – giving the building a cage-like appearance.

Red Mirror by Wise Architecture

A slim staircase with transparent risers is sandwiched between two of the lattice walls, linking the ground level with a terrace on the roof.

Red Mirror by Wise Architecture

"Overlapping transparency and reflection, these layered strips of different materials create a strong visual illusion," said the architects.

Red Mirror by Wise Architecture

The long strips of grey metal and red polycarbonate are designed to quiver when the staircase is used. Coupled with the multi-tonal colouring and pattern, they aim to disorientate visitors.

Red Mirror by Wise Architecture

"Walking along the narrow stair passage between the layers, the visitors may feel dizzy not only because of the optical repetition but because of the trembling of the strips," the team explained.

Red Mirror by Wise Architecture

The grill also extends above the parapet to form translucent and striped balustrades for the roof terrace.

Red Mirror by Wise Architecture

At the basement level, distorted patterns from the latticed facade are reflected across the surface of a pool of water that occupies a sunken courtyard.

Red Mirror by Wise Architecture

A narrow well along one side of the building is filled with large, craggy pieces of stone and planted with mosses to form a rockery that is visible through the glazing.

Red Mirror by Wise Architecture

The project was recently featured in the exhibition Out of the Ordinary: Award-Winning Works by Young Korean Architects, which was organised by London Metropolitan University's The Cass.

Photography is by Roh Kyung.

Red Mirror by Wise Architecture
Site plan – click for larger image
Red Mirror by Wise Architecture
Basement plan – click for larger image
Red Mirror by Wise Architecture
Ground floor plan – click for larger image
Red Mirror by Wise Architecture
First floor plan – click for larger image
Red Mirror by Wise Architecture
Roof plan – click for larger image
Red Mirror by Wise Architecture
Section one – click for larger image
Red Mirror by Wise Architecture
Section two – click for larger image