David Chipperfield’s cubic Amorepacific headquarters are inaugurated in Seoul

Amorepacific's new offces by david chipperfield.
David Chipperfield Architects is behind the elegant design of the Amorepacific skincare brand's headquarters in Seoul.
(Image credit: Noshe)

When David Chipperfield was called to design a new headquarters for Asian skincare brand Amorepacific in Seoul, one of the primary concerns that emerged was creating a building with a strong identity; but one, which would be intrinsically connected to its surroundings forming a valuable part of the city’s fabric, in both a social and architectural sense.

The building, which had been in development and construction for eight years, has just opened its doors to the public and its tenants, making a distinct mark on the Seoul skyline and the district of Yongsan-gu, where it is located.

‘It is more than an office. The building suggests generosity of spirit to the people who work here and the citizens’, says Chipperfield. ‘It is something that mediates between the company and the city. It shows how a company can participate in the larger community.’

Amorepacific’s new HQ is, on a very basic reading, a simple, cubic volume; yet upon closer inspection, the design’s instricacy shines through. The facade is a carefully balanced grid of glass and aluminium that appears both confident and lightweight. Green terraces and a central courtyard, featuring trees and water basins, are cut through the massing, offering different spatial options to users. Exposed concrete and natural stone complete the structure’s material palette.

Inside, on the ground level, the visitor is led straight through to the heart of the building. This is the building’s main event space for art installations, concerts, lectures and other cultural activities, where the architecture was designed to act as space for social interaction. These activities will be surrounded by a variety of public facilities such as a museum, a library, a tea room and retail. A variety of functions occupy the levels above and lead to the company’s main workspaces on the upper floors. Here, connectivity is the name of the game, with flexible office space provides ample opportunity for meeting and working.

Sustainable strategies were used throughout, such as the shape and the size of the facade fins, which have been specifically crafted to reduce unwanted solar radiation and glare; due to this approach, the building is expected to receive a LEED Gold certification later in the year.

‘This concept of a high-rise courtyard building – offering a silhouette and more importantly a place to be – takes reference from Korea’s rich and versatile architectural heritage’, explains David Chipperfield Architects partner and the project’s design director Christoph Felger.

Amorepacific's new hq by David Chipperfield

The project was eight years in the making and takes its cues from the local context.

(Image credit: Laurian Ghinitoiu)

David Chipperfield architects designs amorepacific workspace.

What appears to be a simple cube, is in fact an instricate composition that aims to be sensive to the needs of both its users and the surrounding city fabric

(Image credit: Noshe)

David Chipperfield architects designs amorepacific offices.

Several courtyards and terraces are cut through the main volume

(Image credit: David Chipperfield Architects)

David Chipperfield architects designs amorepacific headquarters.

Planted terraces underline visual connections with the city.

(Image credit: David Chipperfield Architects)

David Chipperfield architects designs amorepacific hq.

The building's sophisticated grid facade features aluminium fins.

(Image credit: Noshe)

David Chipperfield designs amorepacific hq.

Green gardens with trees and water features populate the terraces.

(Image credit: Noshe)

Chipperfield designs amorepacific hq.

The ground level leads to the office spaces above but also acts as space for cultural activity

(Image credit: Noshe)

Information

For more information visit the website (opens in new tab) of David Chipperfield Architects

Ellie Stathaki is the Architecture Editor at Wallpaper*. She trained as an architect at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in Greece and studied architectural history at the Bartlett in London. Now an established journalist, she has been a member of the Wallpaper* team since 2006, visiting buildings across the globe and interviewing leading architects such as Tadao Ando and Rem Koolhaas. Ellie has also taken part in judging panels, moderated events, curated shows and contributed in books, such as The Contemporary House (Thames & Hudson, 2018) and Glenn Sestig Architecture Diary (2020).

With contributions from