A Nifty Design Module


Piuarch, Italy

Piuarch, Italy

Givenchy boutique in Seoul is an emblematic of design. Architects from Piuarch in collaboration with Riccardo Tisci redefine the French Brand via a peculiar graphic façade inspired by the Optical Art and the characteristic use of fabrics from the latest collections of Givenchy, breaking the ice from the stereotype


The new Givenchy boutique in Seoul, located in the city shopping district – Cheongdam Dong, is realized in close collaboration with the artistic director of the Maison, Riccardo Tisci. The boutique has an area of about 400 sqm on three levels and offers an exhibition of women’s fashion, accessories, and men’s fashion: a unique vision of luxury ready-to-wear, both urban and couture.

The building features a peculiar graphic façade, with a hyper-minimalist interior that reflects the themes and the allure of the brand. The façade is designed as a sort of enclosure – a second embossed skin as an expression of a urban identity. The façade is meant to evoke the distinctive tailoring ‘T cut’ that characterizes the style of the French brand. The surface is made of electro-polished steel plates, creates reflection effects that change depending on the light and interact with the surrounding landscape. This peculiar skin is inspired by the Optical Art and by the characteristic use of fabrics that Givenchy made in the latest collections.

Inside the cut, at the upper corner of the building, it appears a surface of satin brass which becomes an urban element for those who follow the great way of Cheongdam. At the same time it evokes the brand since it is a direct reference to the famous ‘T cut’ style of Givenchy. The embossed iron has regular holes that in the evening light interact to continuously modify the image of the building, generating kinetic effects that make the whole building a dynamic structure and street landmark.

Piuarch searched for reference on the Italian art movements of the 60s: Lucio Fontana and Enrico Castellani above the others. The point of contact between Italian optical art and the Givenchy is in the work of Riccardo Tisci, whose work is pervaded by continual reference to the artistic movements.

Piuarch wanted to match an urban approach to what is a tailoring use of materials. The result is a glossy black cube resting on a ground floor fully glazed. In the interior, the guidelines provided by the client, have been developed introducing the use of natural materials – in particular marble and basalt stone – a new typology of furnishings and new articulations of space: it creates a new environment that enhances the character of Givenchy. The general concept of the interior design is expressed through unique research materials: marble Calacatta, Sahara noir, stone Basalt, which are side by side in the different elements to create a spirit elegant, yet contemporary. Particular importance is given to the internal staircase lined with marble Sahara noir, off the wall with ramps that go in different directions.

The cover panels of the façade were made in South Korea, with pressed iron, deformed using a modern fluid technology from one side only. The covering is made with square modules size 110×110 cm, thickness of 1.5 cm. Each module has five holes, diameter 5 cm, and four protrusions, diameter 14 cm; each one move 8 cm forward/backwards from the plan of the front panel. The embossed surface of steel plates has an electro-coloured finishing.

The modules are secured by a stainless steel frame attached to a rear tubular structure. The lighting is made with optical fibers for point light sources and positioned in places of easy maintenance.

Text & Drawings courtesy: Piuarch & Photographs courtesy: Kyungsub Shin

Fact File
project name: Givenchy Flagship Store
location: Seoul
client: Givenchy Group
architect: Piuarch (Francesco Fresa, Germán Fuenmayor, Gino Garbellini, Monica Tricario), Milan, Italy
design team: Miguel Pallares (project architect), Cristina Castelli, Marco Dragoni, Davide Fascione, Alessandro Laner, Andrès Mahdjoubian, Jenny Spagnolatti, Enrico Venturini, Viktors Catanovs, Erica Cazzaniga, Niccolo Genesio, Gianluca Iannotta, Ola Labetskaya, Paola Sarcoli, Sarah Trianni, Beatrice Valle, Anna Zauli
commencement date: 2013
completion date: January 2014
area: 404 sqm
Photographer: Kyungsub Shin


About the Firm
Piuarch was established in 1996, the brainchild of its four founding partners: Francesco Fresa, Germàn Fuenmayor, Gino Garbellini and Monica Tricario. Today, approximately 30 architects and engineers, from all four corners of the world, work there headed by four partners and 11 associates. Piuarch’s projects take form from the recuperation of industrial areas to public buildings, complexes for residential and office purposes, and town planning.
The encounter with Dolce&Gabbana marked the beginning of a collaboration that has been going on for 10 years and that has resulted in the realization of more than 40 boutiques all over the world – the Milan headquarters of Dolce&Gabbana, the Factory in Incisa in Val d’Arno and the requalification of the ex Metropol theatre, now multi-functional space for event and fashion shows. In recent years, Piuarch has developed a number of projects abroad. Among the most recent projects: the Pavilions for Enel and for Caritas at EXPO 2015 Milano, Givenchy Flagship Store in Seoul (South Korea), Quattro Corti building in Saint Petersburg, chosen by Gazprom Neft as its Headquarters, the new Dolce&Gabbana office building and the office building in Porta Nuova, both in Milan. Currently, under construction is the redevelopment of the former Caproni areas in Milan. Piuarch is awarded “Italian Architect of the year 2013” by the National Order of the Architects and in collaboration with in Rome.

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