Project DescriptionCategory: Work
In Seoul, buying a home is a little bit like shopping at Ikea: Instead of touring individual houses with a broker, a prospective buyer visits a model home gallery (usually run by one of the country’s five major development corporations), and bases his or her purchase off of an apartment showroom. But these galleries not only showcase the apartments available in the dozens of towers under construction, they also serve as community gathering spaces.
For the Samsung Model Home Gallery, Boston-based firm NADAAA created a 105,000-square-foot, high-design shell, with an aluminum-fin-clad volume to house the model apartments rising from a glazed base. “To me, the base is what’s successful because of what it does,” juror David Jameson said. “It’s a supergraphic for a house.”
The building’s ground level features granite floors to echo the surrounding sidewalks. The creased ceiling plane echoes the geometry of the glazed base’s roofline; it also integrates the lighting and mechanical fixtures. The ground-floor public spaces include an auditorium, a café, and a gallery, punctuated by a light well that brings daylight deep into the floor plate. The ceiling plane folds down to the floor in places, creating enclosures for the escalators that convey visitors to the apartment showcases above. “I like the plans; I think it’s intelligently done,” juror hSheila Kennedy said, noting “a sensitivity” in the approach to the project. What happens to the gallery after the homes have all been sold was a question that the jury raised, but, in the meantime, the public space makes the project a good neighbor. —Katie Gerfen