The brand new Apple Myeongdong – Apple store in South Korea, has now opened to the public. It is a collaboration between integrated architecture and engineering studios at Foster+Partners and Apple’s design teams. The store is located at the base of a new 20-story mixed-use tower at the heart of Seoul’s commercial center. It occupies the full width of the city block forming a grand street frontage.
Apple Myeongdong is a peaceful volume set amidst the heart of Seoul, against the energy and vibrancy of the city. The facade is glazed and greenery flowing into the space aims to smudge the boundaries between indoor and outdoor. The design connects with the urban fabric both visually and physically. Stefan Behling, Head of Studio, Foster + Partners, describes it as the embodiment of Seoul at its best.
The front facade of the Apple Myeongdong faces the bustling lanes of Myeongdong while the side elevations face the busy street sides connecting to the adjacent neighborhood. The corner intersections of the site are utilized as sheltered meeting points for the community by creating landscaped pocket spaces. The floor finishes not only grace the indoors but also flow outside across the glazed facades which melds it perfectly with the surrounding urban fabric.
Small pocket parks are designed to provide an escape from the busy street clutter. The landscape also integrates into the interiors with a shaded grove of trees within the grand atrium. The focal points of the project are created with sculptures by South Korean artists Jaehyo Lee and Vakki. The glazing of the storefront is framed by the structure from the tower above that creates a monumental colonnade. The high-performance glazing panels span between the column and tower horizontally.
To create flowing and integrating spaces, the finishes of the Apple Myeongdong store extend out to the lobby area improving circulation into the store. The ceiling at the upper level is finished in warm timber that creates a horizontal surface that flows out into the lobby spaces. A forum is designed at the upper-level cantilevers into the double height atrium creating an elevated gallery. The boardroom is installed with lights that use Hanji Paper reflectors. A staircase designed around the elevator shaft connects the two levels of the store.