Manolo Blahnik Seoul
Retail / Seoul / July 2012 / 30 sq m
Manolo Blahnik's store in Seoul's Galleria expresses the futurism of the city and of the location - a dedicated space for luxury shopping. The design evokes Seoul's fast-moving lifestyle and digital culture, in particular in the spheres of electronics and robotics. The corner unit has been created to represent a shoe-dispensing machine, its façade broken up into a pixelated array of 'boxes' that continues inside to form the rear display wall.
This display wall appears to feature a wall of boxes, some of which have been 'slide' out to display their contents. The boxes are contained with a black sheet steel structure, the rawness of the steel is contrasted with gold leaf and white lacquer, adding a luxurious sheen to the space without compromising the high-tech appearance of the space. The golden boxes have a cracked texture to the glaze, inspired by traditional Korean pottery, in particular the moon jar.
One of the architects' key references was the design of Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey, while the entire store is also strongly reminiscent of a medicine chest, with the shoes representing the perfect prescriptions. The modular design allows for the easy manipulation of the display space and presentation of new collections, etc.