Chongro-Ku Pavilions
Seoul, Korea

The scheme for the Chongro-Ku Pavilions is a mediation of ancient and modern, sentinel and lantern, protection and transparency and finally, of icon and abstraction. Large plates of white glass form staggered, overlapping layers around an elliptical steel skeleton.

Located in the original center of Seoul, just south of the Old Palace, the site juxtaposes high price cosmopolitan commercial space with some of the most important historical layers of the city.

The Pavilions reference ancient armor, typically constructed of layers of leather, hair and metal, which once clad the warriors and guards which who battled and protected this area. The segmented curvature and layering of the armor, elements also found in traditional Korean lanterns served as generators for the design of the pavilions.

Entry pavilions become signage, advertising the activity below street level. This luxury retail setting did not permit the typical neon graphics found along the urban streets. Instead, elliptical glass towers abstractly signal a gateway to the shopping arcade below.