Acne Studios Cheongdam Soeul Sophie Hicks Architects
In true Gangnam style, Swedish fashion house Acne Studios have recently opened their otherworldly flagship store in the affluent neighbourhood in the heart of Seoul’s Cheongdam district.
The exterior is deceptive. From the street, the building appears to be refined, elegant, restrained. The façade, replicating a lightbox, is translucent, filtering light through its polycarbonate panels. It sits within a landscape of vegetation typical to Swedish archipelagos, including wild strawberries.
By contrast, the inside is what the architect calls ‘a heavy, brooding, concrete monster’. Spanning over two levels, the concrete structure is kept completely separate from its ghostly shell. The concrete surfaces are imprinted with the texture of rough timber (often used to build boardwalks in the Stockholm archipelago), while the rest of the interior is pristine and disconnected. The paired back and minimalist aesthetic puts the focus on the clothing and accessories which are displayed against freestanding softly reflective metal walls, hung from thin rails and presented on metal tables and shelves.
The resulting concept store is one which celebrates the clothing brand and complements its distinct ethos and aesthetics.