Trees and cascading water are unlikely companions for a mall, but the Hyundai Seoul brings a taste of the natural world into the retail experience with 50% of its floor plate is dedicated to relaxing and green spaces.
Toronto studio Burdifilek designed three levels of the eight-floor Yeongdeungpo-gu department store, each of which is dedicated to a different theme. Fashion is on the third floor, while a food court is located on the first basement level.
Trees are perched on raised ‘islands’, reminiscent of huge mushrooms, creating what the studio describes as a green belt around the Seoul building’s interior. These spaces can also host art exhibitions and pop-up stages, and enjoy plenty of natural light thanks to the overhead skylights.
However what really takes the mall to the next level is the 12-metre-tall waterfall Burdifilek has installed, which pipes out dozens of individual streams of water to create a striped pattern as it cascades downward.
The other levels designed by Burdifilek take a different, more obviously manmade approach. The third floor’s fashion collection appears against the backdrop of reeded reflective panels and vacuum-formed walls, while the second floor takes a sculptural approach with curving, fluid shapes and striking hanging fixtures for clothes.