Dezeen Magazine

Louis Vuitton Maison Seoul by Frank Gehry

Frank Gehry crowns Louis Vuitton Maison Seoul with glass sails

Frank Gehry has perched a stack of sweeping glass sails atop a cube of white stone for Louis Vuitton Maison Seoul, with interiors by architect Peter Marino.

The roof is a reference to the curved roofs found in traditional Korean architecture, and a nod to the billowing forms of Gehry's Foundation Louis Vuitton in Paris.

Louis Vuitton Maison Seoul by Frank Gehry

Designed to "give an impression of flight", these louvred glass panels help to filter light throughout the building. The roof forms zigzags up the Louis Vuitton Maison Seoul, creating a series of private terraces above.

"What struck me when I first visited Seoul nearly 25 years ago was the relationship between architecture and the natural landscape," said Gehry.

"I still remember clearly the powerful impressions I had stepping up from the garden of Jongmyo Shrine."

Louis Vuitton Maison Seoul by Frank Gehry

Set over five storeys, Louis Vuitton Maison Seoul's interiors combine the luxury fashion house's clothes and accessories with a permanent collection of art and archival objects and a temporary exhibition space.

A series of Alberto Giacometti sculptures from the Foundation Louis Vuitton Collection is currently on display.

Louis Vuitton Maison Seoul by Frank Gehry

Marino said he designed each floor as a "differing universe", with a vast, twelve-metre high entrance hall that contrasts with more intimate lounge areas.

The more open spaces have been finished with a mixture of white walls and pale wood floors and shelving. Smaller private salons are finished in stone to give the feeling of being in carved-out niches.

"The interior spaces were designed with a Miesian rigour to more strongly emphasise the billowing, energetic sculptural quality of Gehry's exterior," explained Marino.

"The dynamism of the rectangular volumes cleanly contrasts with the baroque glass shields of the building."

Louis Vuitton Maison Seoul by Frank Gehry

A floating staircase connects each level, with menswear at basement level, womenswear on the first floor and private spaces with enclosed terraces on the second and first floors.

In the shop window a series of colourful scrunched-up paper trees reference those used by Gehry's studio in its architectural models.

Louis Vuitton Maison Seoul by Frank Gehry

Marino also curated the furniture used throughout the store. Works were chosen to create "bright fields of colour", including pieces by Mark Hagan, Anselm Reyle, Brendan Smith and Marcello Lo Guidice.

He recently completed renovation works at Louis Vuitton's shop on Bond Street, London, using artworks by Tracy Emin and the Campana Brothers.

Louis Vuitton, which recently premiered bags featuring built-in OLED screens, often collaborates with architects, artists and designers, and recently celebrated 160 years of collaboration with an exhibition in Los Angeles.

Ghery's practice has just remodelled the entrance of Philadelphia's Museum of Art.

Photography is by Yong Joon Choi.