Featured store: Galleria in Gwanggyo designed by Oma

Newly opened South Korean department store Galleria in Gwanggyo features a distinctive multifaceted glass passage wrapped around the stone exterior.

The upscale department store franchise’s sixth outpost was designed by Oma as a new landmark for the city.

“The first time we came to Gwanggyo, the entire city felt as one big temporary condition, missing any sense of permanence,” said Oma partner Chris van Duijn in an interview with Dezeen. “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.”

The structure has been designed as a slab of rock or earth and patterned with a mosaic of tessellated stone triangles. The glass passageway moves in and out of the rock as if it is “eating its way through the stone”, breaking up the surface while providing a walkway to the roof garden, which hosts retail and cultural activities. 

Customers in the 540m passage have a clear view of the store interior as well as vantage points over the district, while terraces within the walkway can be used for events, performances and promotions.

“With a public loop deliberately designed for cultural offerings, Galleria in Gwanggyo is a place where visitors engage with architecture and culture as they shop,” said Duijn to DesignBloom. “They leave with a unique retail experience blended with pleasant surprises after each visit.”

“Galleria in Gwanggyo is the largest department store that Galleria has opened in 10 years and will play a pivotal role as a core branch providing … the best VIP facilities and services,” said Hanwha Galleria president and CEO Eun Soo Kim. 

“In addition, 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, which applies a new paradigm that ‘transmits light throughout the building through the public loop’. 

“Galleria in 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.” 


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