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Less Is More

Minimalism makes the biggest impact for The Hyundai Seoul, the South Korean capital’s chic new department store.




IN A CITY THAT’S a kaleidoscope of colorful storefronts, neon lights and billboards, Hyundai’s new department store is a departure. Immediately striking for its minimalist, monochromatic palette and sculptural architecture, it marks a new era for shopping destinations in Seoul.

Within The Hyundai Seoul, South Korea’s largest department store spanning a total 959,064 square feet, three of its 12 floors were the resulting vision of interior design studio Burdifilek (Toronto) and the Hyundai Department Store Group (Seoul) – the three floors alone being an expansive 9552 square feet.

This page: Spanning a total 959,064 square feet, The Hyundai Seoul is South Korea’s largest department store, highlighted by its minimalist interior and attractive sculptural architecture.

“It’s not like a regular department store,” says Diego Burdi, Co-Founder and Creative Director at Burdifilek. “It’s sculptural and clean, so that collections stand out. We wanted to create an ethereal, raw experience – one that works well for designer brands.”

For product, Hyundai Seoul almost presents a blank page, albeit with distinctive features like undulating enclaves and recessed strip lighting casting light and shadow. This manicured, subtle, stripped back approach allows product to sing.


Above and Right: Pops of “gender neutral” colors deliver moments of awe in the minimalist interior.


“Colors are deliberately gender neutral to match the ethos of the brands showcased,” says Burdi. “And the merchandising is reminiscent of a show home.”

It’s this sense of calm and space that allows customers to take in collections at their own pace, whether that’s on the second floor’s “Sculpture Garden” or on the top floor’s “Provocative Wilderness.”

It’s a dreamy experience. As customers wander around Hyundai, they’re met with a four-story waterfall that cascades through the atrium and dances over the store, sparkling in the light that filters through a skylight at the center. This auditory sensation exemplifies the experiential nature of this space, which allows for intuitive movement through and moments of rest in an environment that feels like nature has been brought indoors.

“There’s a lot happening to keep you there,” explains Burdi. “Using kinetic, energy-driven design, the idea was to create a space that is conscious of interaction and ever evolving.”

That’s what Hyundai Seoul achieves. With each floor approachable and appealing to a different sense, it’s not just a stop for shopping but a destination to linger in – and one that remains in the memory. It’s an ambitious example of the elevated shopping experience.

Yongjoon Choi


Georgia Mizen is a contributing writer at VMSD magazine. Writing for VMSD since 2017.



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