Galleria department store in Gwanggyo, South Korea by OMA

OMA wraps glass public walkway around Galleria department store in Gwanggyo

Architecture firm OMA has completed the Galleria department store in Gwanggyo, South Korea, with a stone facade that has a multifaceted-glass passage cut into it.

Built in the town of Gwanggyo, south of the capital Seoul, the Galleria department store has been designed to be a landmark for the area's housing district.

"The first time we came to Gwanggyo the entire city felt as one big temporary condition, missing any sense of permanence," explained OMA partner Chris van Duijn.

"That is why we conceived the project as a point of gravity for Gwanggyo – in the shape of a stone cube, as if it was the origin of the city," he told Dezeen.

Galleria department store in Gwanggyo, South Korea by OMA

The cube-shaped building is clad in tessellated triangles of stone. The mix of beige, brown and earthy colours is designed to make the building appear like a slab of rock or a cross-section of earth.

Breaking up the geometric shape of the 10-storey department store is a multifaceted-glass passage that is wrapped around the building, projecting from the facade.

"On every level there is a relationship among the loop, the central space and the surrounding shops," said Van Duijn.

"The route is sometimes excavated from the building, eating its way through the stone, and other times the glass openly exits the façade, creating a steel structure of regular triangular grids."

Galleria department store in Gwanggyo, South Korea by OMA

The glass-enclosed passage starts at ground level and passes twice around the building, providing access to each floor and finally the roof terrace.

"The building includes other, more public oriented programm than retail, including a culture centre and a roof garden at the top levels of the buildings," he continued.

"So the loop should attract people to take the long route (540m) from the sidewalk up to the roof and stimulate other activities to occur than only retail."

Galleria department store in Gwanggyo, South Korea by OMA

According to the architecture studio, the multifaceted glass walkway will help to connect the building's retail functions with its leisure facilities.

"The building includes other, more public oriented program than retail, including a culture centre and a roof garden at the top levels of the buildings," continued Van Duijn.

"So the loop should attract people to take the long route from the sidewalk up to the roof and stimulate other activities to occur than only retail."

Galleria department store in Gwanggyo, South Korea by OMA

A food market and deli are located in the building's basement, with eight retail floors above it. Along with stairs and lifts all of the floors are connected by the glass external loop. The department store's upper floors, which are also access for the passageway, contain leisure facilities.

The eighth floor contains bars and restaurants, the ninth and tenth a multi-screen cinema and the eleventh a space described as the "lounge and academy".

Galleria department store in Gwanggyo, South Korea by OMA

Galleria hope that the Gwanggyo department store, its sixth, will offer its customers a different experiment to standard stores.

"Through collaboration with world-class architect OMA, it is well received both domestically and internationally for its creative architecture that is distinct from typical department store format," said Hanwha Galleria president and CEO Eun Soo Kim.

"Galleria Gwanggyo is the most beautiful department store and is expected to become a unique landmark representing Korea and the world, providing a new inspiration to customers."

Galleria department store in Gwanggyo, South Korea by OMA

OMA is a Dutch architecture studio founded in 1975 by Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas. It has previously added a glass escalator to the Saks Fifth Avenue department store in Manhattan and is designing The Link department store and hotel in Vienna.

The studio has recently completed a hotel tower in Amsterdam and a sports centre at Brighton College in the UK. Koolhaas and OMA's research wing AMO recently unveiled an exhibition at the Guggenheim that aimed to "to put the countryside on the agenda again".

Photography is by Hong Sung Jun,.


Project credits:

Architect: OMA
Executive architect: Gansam
Contractor: Hanwha Engineering&Construction corp.
Facade consultant: VS-A
Curtain wall consultant (smart node): Withworks
Model maker: Edelsmid Emile Estourgie with Yasuhito Hirose and Made by Mistake, RJ Models Model

More images

Galleria department store in Gwanggyo, South Korea by OMA
Plans
Galleria department store in Gwanggyo, South Korea by OMA
Diagram
Galleria department store in Gwanggyo, South Korea by OMA
Galleria department store in Gwanggyo, South Korea by OMA