studio studio

studio studio

Seoul, KR


Gimpo Cultural and Commercial Complex

Project Description

 This project is to renovate an existing factory building and build new buildings around it. There are galleries and commercial facilities here. The old building was a cosmetic factory with a steel structure. The facilities required for the renovation building were:

1. A few art galleries

2. A few warehouses

3. One Cafe

4. One Bakery

5. A few food and beverage areas

6. Rooftop Garden

 And the building had to meet another requirement.

‘Preserve voids in existing spaces after renovation.’ 

Actually, this is not what the client commissioned from me, it's more like I commissioned the architecture and asked the client for it. The steel pillars on the edge of the existing building made the inside into an empty box. It was cluttered with all kinds of machines, but this place had the ability to be completely empty. If this space were to be filled with new flooring material, a wall separating the program was built, and all functions were put in, it was clear that the empty capacity of the old plan would disappear.I've been struggling to get hold of this.

How can voids be preserved? Can this form get permission from construction capital?


The plan came into being for this reason.

‘In an easy-to-build form, to accommodate the programs, but to preserve the expansiveness of the existing factory’

Please Imagine you are standing in the center of a floor plan. There is a bakery and cafe next to it, and there is also an exhibition space. But nothing back and forth. This large space is a void that has existed before. The same goes for going upstairs. The walls along the existing columnar columns break as they approach the center. The walls are there to make the room, but at the same time to break it in the middle. You can feel the same feeling you felt when you first stood in the center on the second floor. This is because the interior walls do not completely block the user when standing at a certain point, allowing the user to fully feel the entire space.

There is a wall beyond the wall, and there are open spaces between the walls, respectively. Some of them will be exhibition spaces, others will be bakeries, others will be cafes, etc. Each user can enjoy the totality of "span" and enter the desired facility.


Unlike the complex program of renovation buildings, each of the newly built buildings is given a single program (wine shop, cafe, art gallery, etc.). So these buildings have very few interior walls. After discussing the maximum volume required with the client, we move on to the furniture design stage. And in many cases, furniture does the job better. If both architecture and furniture can do their job well in solving a particular problem, it is much more economical for furniture to do the job. Furniture may be used elsewhere in the distant future. The building must be demolished.


  The facades of one renovation and four new buildings are all stucco finish. I wanted the different buildings to look alike, but not the same. This required an all-encompassing morphogenetic logic. The self-generated logic helps to effectively overcome internal doubts about form formation when designing a façade.

 The starting point takes place on the new floor plan of an existing factory building. The decorative columns and beams of the façade grow from the location of walls and slabs. The walls and slabs meet in a grid pattern, and the resulting grid gives order to the building façade. At the point where the column meets the slab, a rectangular overhang is added. This rectangle has a different texture than the whole. It is the birth of new material(what it looks like). I ordered 5 buildings.

‘Facade decoration should describe the location of internal columns and slabs. And decorate the facets or spots where they meet with another material with a different texture.’

 With this logic, the rest of work is surprisingly easy. The form logic of the first building affects the neighboring buildings. When this happens, the shape of each building becomes a response to the previous shape. Descriptions of each building are in the previous building.

 Site Plan 

Users must go through the renovation building to enter the courtyard of the site. This building is both a building and a huge entrance. As users pass through the building(entrance), all newly built buildings are scattered around the edge of the site. Each building is connected by a circular promenade. The heart of the courtyard is completely empty. This is not same case with void in renovation buildings. Leaving it empty is good for using that area, and it's a lot easier than building something there. The client is also thinking of putting in a large merry-go-round in the future. A big 'merry-go-round' doesn't matter to me, but it's pretty meaningful to have a place where a 'big' merry-go-round could fit in.

Read more

Status: Built
Location: Seoul, KR
Firm Role: Architecture Design
Additional Credits: Architecture Design : Studio Studio
Construction Documents with OFF studio ([email protected])
Graphic Design : PACAY PACAY ([email protected])
All Photo by Park Sehee ([email protected])