The literal and mythological meaning of the lantern is highly significant throughout Asian history—it leads you through the dark, showing you the way and indicating the beginning and end of a journey. Neri&Hu’s radical transformation of an existing five storey building in Seoul, South Korea, into a grand flagship store for leading Asian skincare brand Sulwhasoo is inspired by these notions of the lantern. Celebrating the roots of the brand, Neri&Hu wanted to develop a concept with strong connections to Asian culture and traditions, ultimately allowing customers to discover the wealth of Asian wisdom that underpins the Sulwhasoo ethos.
The concept originates from three key points that were defined at the very start of the project – Identity, Journey and Memory. Neri&Hu aspired to create a space that appeals to all the senses, that captures the customer immediately as they approach the building, creates an experience that continues to unfold during the journey through the store, and leaves a strong impression with visitors long after they have left. This is what led to the lantern concept, where a continuous brass structure is the element ties the whole store together, guiding customers while they explore the full extent of the space.