NONE SPACE Creates Flagship Store With Earthy Elements For Multisensory Experience In South Korea
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The 412-square-metre flagship store was designed for Korean brand Sumsei, addressing the strengths of the brand in different rooms. The design of the rooms contains earthy elements, such as water, mud, wind, reeds and forest, giving the characteristic of the project.
Each room has a different theme and spatial arrangement elaborated with different textures and materials.
"Sumsei has products that mostly encounter bare bodies or bare feet, such as ‘body dryer’ which is the leading product that is used to easily dry the body after shower," said NONE SPACE.
"We paid attention to the fact that it is the closest brand to our body among many products that we easily pass by in our daily life. Wind blows when we stand up on Sumsei with a bare body, and the wind slowly awakens our senses."
"First of all, in order to evoke our daily lives filled with boredom and awaken unfamiliar senses, we need to return our body to a state of nothingness." "And by opening our senses intentionally, it allows you to feel the experience of building up layers of sense on your own," the studio added.
The studio designed a space that appeals to different senses in each floor, and they created a staircase to suggest the next space. According to the design team, each floor is blended with spatial and temporal background, the aim of this approach is to help the audience empathize when the senses open gradually.
"Not just limited to senses, when the audience empathizes with the spatial context, we thought that we could maximize the experience that they feel in it," they added.
When the visitors arrive to the first basement floor, the space that is deep ground and deep night. According to the guidance, all the spectators will take their shoes off and enter with bare feet to the space of Sumsei.
They will pass through the dark, sightless, and long passage, while solely depending on the candle and sensations from the tips of their hands and feet.
"It takes courage to take a step while leaving behind the vague fear that surrounds you. At this moment, the toe transmits a total of three different senses, and the touch of the ground coming in contact with the foot feels very new," the studio continued.
Furthermore, as the sensation of the feet changes, visitors can also experience how the pieces of sound that enter your ears change.
At the end of the passage, the team designed a space for meditation where visitors can put down the candle them depended on while passing through the passage and take a moment to clear their senses while looking at the candle.
The flickering candles caress the blurry figures, and the spectator can feel their vague senses gradually becoming clearer. After passing through the meditation space, an underground space that maximizes the spatial and temporal background appears. The void space of the building was used to create a gap in the dark ground where the night sky was opened.
On the first floor, the theme is: Water Of Dawn. At the end of the first basement floor, visitors can feel the water flowing down from the first floor. When visitors go up to the first floor by following the stairs where the water flows, the temporal background changes from deep night to dawn, and the spatial background changes from the ground to a wetland. Dawn hides the light of the world and only reveals its black-and-white form.
It was opened a little more visually than in the ground where nothing could be seen, but it is still more breath-taking. Although the front sight is still blurry, senses are gradually awakened by the sharp touch of the water. After stepping on the water path and mud that hints at the shore, visitors arrive at the shore where the mist rises. Visitors gradually wake up at dawn as they realize themselves anew in a stillness that moves slowly.
On the second floor, the theme is Heart Of Wind. As visitors climb the stairs along the grass, they arrive at a field where the wind blows. The wind is not something that can be easily captured by our eyes.
Therefore, the studio thought that it was difficult to fully understand the wind simply by looking at something swaying in the wind. In this field, a landscape of wind that cannot be experienced in daily life was created to evoke the existence of the wind and to allow spectators to feel the various expressions of the wind with their whole body.
The first room features a field of reeds swaying in the wind below, and waves swaying in the wind above it. Visitors can lie freely on the reed field and feel the traces of the wind with their whole body.
The second room has water below and a field of time above. This time, visitors can lie on the water and admire the fields swaying in the wind.
While coming this far, spectators can feel a new sensation with every step, and feel that their whole body is gradually filled with clearer sensations through unfamiliar experiences. The clearer the body, the more vaguely scattered thoughts and emotions are organized.
On the third floor, the team introduce Sumsei Forest. After passing through a mysterious green passage where rustling leaves welcome visitors, visitors finally reach the forest. Birds are chirping, the water is flowing, and the sky is glimmering.
The third floor is the forest of Sumsei, where the five senses are opened. They can also enjoy a drink with the scent of homegrown basil. Spectators will accept this space with their own senses that have been accumulated through the experiences from each floor. They can stay in peace with comfort while savoring the pieces of nature that have passed by.
Rooftop refreshes five senses of the human body. The rooftop is a space to expand the forest of Sumsei and finish the journey. "The sky is infinitely high above your head, and in the sky, there is a mirror swaying in the wind. Below, a square, straight head contains the objects of the sky and wind," added the studio.
"The mirror is a mirror of the self that is finally faced again, and is the period of a long journey. Our body repeats to go in and out of nature due to the swaying mirror."
"The length and color of light that changes every moment, the expression of water that captures the sky, and you can even feel the sound of the wind moving through the bamboo and its canes."
The world changes depending on the range of our senses. In the space of Sumsei, visitors can discover their existence through the recovery of the senses and sensory experiences leave clear marks in their memories. "Now, as rain, we are ready to face a more abundant daily life than yesterday."
"A brand that derives joy that you have been facing all the time but have not been aware of rather than creating novelty that has never been seen before, Sumsei, a brand that brings joy that you have been looking at but unaware of, gathers the small movements and eventually takes the first step that will derive an emotional change to the world."
In this way, the studio tried to break away from the one-sided appeal of offline stores from the past through space. The architects tried to convey the brand’s message, which is “it is okay not purchasing” by eliciting the consumer’s active curiosity through not exposing the product on the front, the primordial experience of nature, and five senses.
First floor plan
Second floor plan
Third floor plan
Roof floor plan
Project name: Sumsei Terarium
Architects: NONE SPACE
Location: Seongdong-gu, South Korea.
All images © Jaeyoon Kim, Haneol Kim
All drawings © NONE SPACE
> via NONE SPACE