Gangnam apartment transformed with Memphis and neo-deco inspired interior design

Living room with sofa and coffee table, shelving, and an archway into the next room
Seoul based design company intg has completed a private apartment transformation in the city's Gangnam district.
(Image credit: Sunghoon Park)

In Seoul, apartments with views of the Han River are, not surprisingly, prized commodities. Rarer still are those that open in the direction of two compass points. For locally based studio intg, this 112 sq m bolthole – on the 11th storey of a 30 storey apartment building that sits diagonally to the river in the city’s Gangnam quarter – was a boon.

Designers and intg co-founders, Daniel Song and Kate Cho say the views are ‘quite amazing – from the living room and bedroom, you see the river park, and from the office, you see the mountains with Namsan Tower, a major Seoul landmark, across the river.’

The east-west perspective had a direct impact on the design approach. ‘Since there is all-day natural lighting, we were able to be bold and use saturated colours and dark tones. And since the sunlight shifts throughout the day, we allowed the living room to be white so that it becomes a canvas.’  

Aqua entrance with mirror

(Image credit: Sunghoon Park)

The relatively long and narrow layout of the three bedroom apartment, especially along the axis from the entrance to the living area, required a horizontal layering of textures and colours – not least Lasvit pendant lamps, Arflex chairs and BD Barcelona Design accessories – to create distinct and separate visual zones. As Song puts it, the decision was to ‘add, rather than subtract or relocate.’

The result is an artful blend of Memphis and neo-deco. For the most part, the floor is white washed oak, while the atelier and library are sheathed in green marble, and walls are clad in mint and purple fabric panels. The bijou kitchen, meanwhile, features a brushed stainless steel counter and copper cabinets, alongside custom millworks in walnut and anodized metal.

For Song and Cho, the Seoul apartment is a useful shorthand for the DNA of their three year old studio which is currently working on the Seoul HQ of the Aju Hotels & Resorts group, and a VIP lounge for the Lotte department store. ‘The apartment’s design narrative comes from its existing condition and purpose. We had to create a visually inspiring, yet comfortable and embracing space.’ Mission accomplished, we say.

Desk area with dark green walls and dark wood furniture

(Image credit: Sunghoon Park)

Kitchen in red tones, with illuminated shelving and breakfast bar

(Image credit: Sunghoon Park)

Study area in muted red tones with desk and chair

(Image credit: Sunghoon Park)

Double bedroom in blue with daybed at the window

(Image credit: Sunghoon Park)

Dressing table with mirror and yellow chair

(Image credit: Sunghoon Park)

Wardrobe with illuminated storage shelving and rails

(Image credit: Sunghoon Park)


For more information, visit the intg website

Daven Wu is the Singapore Editor at Wallpaper*. A former corporate lawyer, he has been covering Singapore and the neighbouring South-East Asian region since 1999, writing extensively about architecture, design, and travel for both the magazine and website. He is also the City Editor for the Phaidon Wallpaper* City Guide to Singapore.