This year the architects at OMA completed an amazing project in a new town called Gwanggyo located south of Seoul, in South Korea. It’s the sixth branch of the Galleria franchise, the upscale department stores that have been leading the premium retail market in the country since the foundation back in the 1970s.
This new structure is positioned at the center of the town, surrounded by tall residential towers. It has a very unique and interesting design. What would otherwise be a very solid and simple geometric structure similar to a giant square box has been transformed here into a work of art. The majority of the building’s exterior is covered in texture mosaic stone which forms beautiful patterns, like a large pixelated painting.
There are also a few sections that appear as if they’ve been taken over by giant gems growing out of the building. These areas have multifaceted glass facades that run across a series of cascading terraces. These glass sections create a visual link between the interior of the building and the outside world. They add depth and character to the building and they look futuristic but also quite organic from the outside. Some of the inspiration for this unusual design came from the natural beauty of the nearby park, in particular, the more organic lines and shapes scattered throughout the structure. The contrast between the stone and the glass sections is a very strong one but at the same time these surfaces complement each other and work in unison to turn this building into a giant canvas and a magnificent example of architectural beauty.