This striking building consists of many layers of steel, glass, super mirror strips and red transparent polycarbonate strips
In Yeoksam-dong 618-2, Gangnam-gu, Seoul in South Korea, Wise Architecture have designed a two storey building covered with layers of horizontal mirror strips and vertical red transparency strips. Overlapping transparency and reflection, these layered strips of different materials create a strong visual illusion. Walking along the narrow stair passage between the layers, the visitors may feel dizzy not only because of the optical repetition but because of the trembling of the strips. The stair passage links the ground level to the roof deck changing the ordinary views of typical commercial blocks in Seoul to a phenomenal experience.
We call the stair passages with red and mirror strips an “Architectural promenade of phenomenal landscapes.” The stair passage emerged from the clients’ requirement to allure visitors to enjoy the building and distinguish it from the neighbourhood. We believe that the building does not bother the passers-by because the stainless strips to some degree absorb the street landscape.
The structure of the building follows the image of the strips. Instead of the general H-shape steel columns, numerous thin hollow steel sections support the building. It is like glazing the mullions to maximize building transparency from the interior. The building consists of many layers of materials: from steel, glass, super mirror strips, red transparent polycarbonate strips, and then back to super mirror strips. These layers make the in-between space of the stair passage fluid and blur its boundaries. They challenge the idea that architecture exists as a rigid structure in solid state.