Dezeen Magazine

Interior image of YG HQ by UNStudio

UNStudio designs "urban speaker" as HQ of K-pop music agency

Amsterdam-based UNStudio has used sweeping geometric lines and metal surfaces to bring a sense of performance to the Seoul headquarters of South Korean music agency YG Entertainment.

Abutting an existing office building used by the agency, the seven-storey headquarters designed by UNStudio contains offices, meeting rooms and recording studios.

Exterior image of the sculptural YG HQ
YG HQ is a headquarters for YG Entertainment that was designed by UNStudio

Designed to resemble a speaker, the building contrasts the exposed concrete of the neighbouring building with a central glazed section flanked by "shell-like" metal panel cladding.

To the northeast, the building's "quiet side" is more enclosed, while to the southwest it opens up with glazing and balconies overlooking an adjacent park.

Metal and glass wraps around the exterior of YG HQ
The building has a sculptural form that was designed to look like a speaker

"It is designed to be more reminiscent of a product than a building; one in which every design feature has a performative function," said the studio.

"The new YG HQ aligns in height, floors and functionality with its older brother, while creating a new impulse for this location and an organisation that is enabled by its unique positioning between city and park."

Image of balconies at YG HQ
The building features office space, recording studios and meeting rooms

The offices are organised around a four-storey skylit atrium that provides a meeting point for all of its users that pulls light deeper into the building's plan.

A series of projecting "pods" with large windows overlook this atrium, providing spaces for either working or resting.

"This area acts as a central stage for the lower level offices and the recording studios, as well as for the users, staff and visitors," said the studio.

All of the office spaces have been organised on the park side of the building to ensure daylight across the floors.

Way-finding is incorporated into the interior design through colour-coding and sweeping lines that mirror the geometry of the building.

Interior image of the atrium at YG HQ
Curving lines were incorporated throughout the design of the interior

Lighting is integrated throughout, in strips that follow the lines of the interiors and in panels underneath the staircases, intended to turn the office into a glowing beacon at night.

"In the evenings the illumination concept of the various interior zones employs the facade lines to reveal a glimpse of various layers within the building, accentuating the quality of performance inherent to the entertainment and music industry," said the studio.

Pods look out to the atrium
The interior has a layered and futuristic look

In the nearby city of Seongnam, Korean architect Moon Moon also designed a building for a K-pop agency, the K-Pop Curve, which features a curved concrete frontage.

Elsewhere, architect Glenn Sestig created a monolithic recording studio for electronic music duo Soulwax that nods to 1960s Italian architecture.

Photography is by Rohspace.

More images and plans

Plan of YG HQ by UNStudio
Image of YG HQ by UNStudio on the horizon
YG HQ by UNStudio was designed to look like a speaker
YG HQ by UNStudio was designed to look like a speaker
YG HQ by UNStudio was designed to look like a speaker
YG HQ by UNStudio was designed to look like a speaker
YG HQ by UNStudio was designed to look like a speaker
YG HQ by UNStudio was designed to look like a speaker