Architects: JOHO Architecture
- Area : 182 m²
- Year : 2015
Photographs :Thierry Sauvage, Jaehyeon KIM
Manufacturers : Albeco E&C, Alto
- Gross Floor Area : 952.21sqm (Extended Area: 24.23sqm)
- Architect In Charge : Jeonghoon LEE
- Design Team : Bong-Gwi Hong, Jun-hee Cho, Moonyoung Jeong
- City : Seoul
- Country : South Korea
Text description provided by the architects. Davich Optical Chain is one of Korea’s representative eyeglass chains, having hundreds of stores throughout the nation and supplying consumers with eyeglasses at all prices. The client for this project asked us to symbolize their own brand with more unique and architectural identity, in addition to being as a special retail store for eyeglasses. In other words, they wanted that a more luxurious feel and upgraded image (selling culture products) are to be added to this chain, not just an ordinary optician’s for selling products.
An early concept started from a circle, shape of glasses. The repetition of circles creates diverse patterns of façade which glasses are overlapped, and it was intended to remind of a specific image through groups of such repetition. The image made from groups of overall patterns symbolizes the flow of a river. The shape of the river in the hometown of the founder who established Davich Optical Chain was combined with a pattern of the circle, creating a major motive of the façade.
Its premise is located at the representative residential area in Gangnam, Seoul. This area is quite busy with ordinary citizens and students due to a lot of residential buildings and a lot of prestigious schools. Despite of high residential rates, commercial facilities such as department stores, various retail shops have been built around this area. 8-land roads play an important role in connecting key areas of Gangnam to each other, which lead many vehicles to pass by here. The building owner desired to renovate this building which symbolizes Davich Optical Chain and enables consumers to have various kinds of cultural experiences.
In addition to the front side exposed, the other three sides are focused to be renovated. The building is set to increase its height in order to highlight the symbolism of the architecture, being almost the same height as other neighboring buildings. The back side on the 1st floor is designed with parking lots pursuant to the laws, and rooftop with upper terrace of various functions.
Areas with four floors above ground and a basement will be used as a specialized optician, offering consumers various brands of eyeglasses at all prices. The 1st floor has a main entrance, displaying low and middle priced general brands. Consumers who visit here move at the flow designated. After being accepted at the optician, consumers follow a certain process, such as selecting glasses frame, checking vision, standing by at the coffee shop for reexamination. Properly displaying various types of eyeglasses by considering the flow was a very important factor for this project. There are various brand shops on the 2nd floor, luxury brand products (eyeglasses and sunglasses), and hearing aids and premium brands (eyeglasses) on the 4th floor. A contact lens shop and coffee shop are located in a basement, which enables consumers to wait until their glasses are made. For a barbecue party and external events, a mini garden with a beam projector is designed on the rooftop.
Façade consists of triple panels. Due to the characteristics of this building, windows to outside are not necessary, thus sides near the structures perform a function as a background panel for waterproof and lighting. 3,600 panels with glasses pattern interact over such primary side, forming the façade.
Panels with glasses pattern which determines the external image consist of inner and outer panels, which are placed alternately. Combining with panels in different sizes of openings leads coverings to have the rich texture of the façade and in-depth sensitivity. A flow of various light beams makes the surface look different slightly. To enhance the aesthetic effect, anodized coatings are to be applied over 2mm aluminum.
As inner and outer panels whose shape are glasses are intercrossed, the assembly order and configuration method of brackets which support the panels were considered an important part of the construction. The vertical structure which supports 3,600 panels and horizontal brackets which are bugled vertically and LED lights are to be constructed according to certain procedures and rules.
The façade is to be constructed in order of panels for waterproof and lighting, inner panels, and outer panels. One of difficult parts especially in configuration of this façade was to set a space for lighting installation and maintenance. The wall grazer light which shines the back panel is an important device that projects light onto the back side of glasses and lets a certain patterned image come out between gaps of glasses. This shines a wide variety of light sensitivity at the rear-end panel according to the LED dimming function. Furthermore, it is designed to change images in different colors according to color variations of RGB programmed. During the daytime, it helps stay true to the feeling of aluminum (raw material), and at night create various images of outer pattern in accordance with the certain LED program.
For interior finish, we intended to form the façade with the glasses pattern, same as the motive of glasses pattern on the outside. In other words, the Galvalume panels which become the motive of glasses form the main façade of the interior space which displays glasses. Such laser cut façade and black iron plate create a linear feeling for major space. Also for floors, epoxy lining is applied over concrete and mortar, intended for materials used to mingle with each other. We have selected the furniture with a unique streamlined design, representing the interior space. The show room across the interior space is furnished with consultation tables and vision measuring machines, etc.
This entire building is characterized by its commercial use and non-windows on outside, thus consists of closed façade without windows on three sides of outside. Triple panels are very effective in maintaining an appropriate temperature for diverse climate changes in Korea. These triple panels, also known as multiple layer panels, absorb the heat of the sun in summer in a regular pattern. Moreover side and rear windows as well as the air-conditioning and heating system help supply and exhaust air regularly in the building. We have considered not only using LED lights with great excellent thermal efficiency against an enormous amount of power spent for image advertising at night, but also their installation and maintenance costs for reasonable consumption.
For this renovation program, it is quite important to secure the emergency exits in case of fire. In addition to the main exit on the 1st floor, a sub exit is prepared at the parking lot in the back of the building. Signs and other sign graphics for evacuation guide people to exits promptly in case of fire. As fire extinguishers and detectors are installed in main stairs of interior space, safety is concerned for fire. This building is equipped with CCTVs, which enables people to effectively manage and cope with safety issues. As such safety and security systems are managed as an integrated circuit; they can be under control by the supervisor.