HMKM designs Hyundai department store in Korea

HMKM is designing the new concept department store for the Hyundai Department Store Group in Seoul, South Korea.

Best known in the UK for its vehicles offering, the Hyundai Corporation is a huge business which also counts shipbuilding, retail and chemical production among its activities.

Christian Papa, director of HMKM, says, ‘As with Japan, South Korea has major conglomerations, involved in everything from heavy shipbuilding to making cars and building huge department stores. There are ten- and 12-storey stores in every suburb. The scale of retail is incredible.’

HMKM was appointed following a paid five-way competition towards the end of last year, and has been tasked with creating the new concept department store in the Lakins Mall in Il-San Kintex, Seoul, which is being designed by US architect RTKL. The development is currently on-site and is due to open in spring 2010.

The consultancy is looking at retail planning, interior design, brand elements and wayfinding across the ten-storey, 40 000m2 store.

Papa says, ‘Most retail development in South Korea looks towards Japan, [but] we were briefed to challenge that with a European perspective.’

The store will feature a food hall and delicatessen in the basement, and the upper floors will house cosmetics, accessories, clothing, technology, homewares, sports equipment and a sit-down dining offer.

This will culminate on the top floor with an event space, which will feature an auditorium, lecture theatre and, according to Papa, the capacity to host wedding services.

Papa says Hyundai is in negotiation to develop the roof space, and HMKM was asked to create designs for a roof garden.

The consultancy has also set up a partnership with an office in Seoul to form HMKM Korea, which will service this contract and any future work in the country. The Seoul department store designs will be rolled out by Hyundai in its new department stores across South Korea.

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