The new headquarters for Amorepacific, Korea’s largest beauty company, is located in the centre of Seoul at a site which has been occupied by the company since 1956. It is situated next to a former US military zone that is being transformed into the spacious Yongsan Park and a business district, which was part of a masterplan representing the largest high-rise development in Korea that substantially altered the urban fabric of the district.
The form of the building is both abstract and gestural. Focusing on a single, clear volume, the proportions of the building have been carefully developed around a central courtyard to maximise the effectiveness of natural ventilation and daylight. Three large openings connect this central void with the exterior surroundings, providing both dramatic views over the city and the mountains in the distance. As ‘hanging gardens’, these openings allow nature to extend from the adjacent park into all parts of the building.
The design elaborates the social, cultural and professional ambitions of the company by combining the workplace with other communal activities. The building offers itself to the city by being elevated above its public entrance platform, creating a generous, public atrium entrance hall. The courtyard situated above represents the communal centre of the company workplace. A rich mixture of public amenities such as a museum, auditorium, library, restaurants and childcare facilities ensures that the building is not only an efficient headquarters but also the public face of a vital company embedded in the growing metropolis of Seoul.
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