voco Seoul Gangnam, InterContinental Hotels Group (2022)

Design: Seuk Hoon Kim / Studio Eccentric
Design Team: Jae Hun Cha, Seoyoung Back, Boseul Seo / Studio Eccentric
Client: Yeongdong Hotel / InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG)
Type: Hotel
Location: Seoul, Korea
Photography: Pho-town, Studio643, Studio Eccentric

iF Design Award 2023 Winner, Interior Architecture 

Featured in:
Monthly Interiors, South Korea
Monthly Design, South Korea
Monthly Deco Journal, South Korea
BOB Magazine, South Korea
Maison Marie Claire, South Korea

   The name, ‘Voco’ is originated from the Latin word, ‘to invite’ and ‘call together.’ In thinking of Voco Seoul Gangnam’s own unique ‘invite’, Studio Eccentric has wanted to captivate the vibrant energy and the sophisticated mood in considering the location where the hotel is, at the heart of Gangnam District. As once the song, ‘Gangnam Style’ has struck not only domestically but also internationally worldwide, Gangnam has been definitely a place where culture and entertainment merge together to form a very bold and contemporary experience. There have been many elements heavily mixed in Gangnam, which are uniquely harmonized among radical contrasts derived by the rapid development of the urban master plan since the 70s’. These have been expressed as sleek yet bold, sometimes chic and warm at the same time, resembling as the current image of Gangnam reflects the Seoul’s past and the future. In considering the hotel’s unique location, the designer has sought to reinterpret various aspects of the present-day Gangnam in the concept wording under, ‘The Modern Gangnam.’

   Seventeen-storied Voco Seoul Gangnam is located by the main Dosan-daero Road of Seoul, just across the Garosu Street where it is famous for its shopping and commercial shops for tourists. When the guests enter the hotel by the escalator from the road, they are greeted by the main public area of lobby and all-day dining restaurant. Since the building is situated on a narrow and long, slopped land, this public area has had a disadvantage of low ceiling and no windows for daylight for the restaurant located in the rear side. If the lobby and the restaurant are planned to be separated, they will each feel very small and uncomfortable; the restaurant in the back may be left with no guests except during the breakfast time. The design team has proposed to merge those two areas for the guests to experience as a large one whole; only one see-through partition wall separates the reception and the bar, and the lounge seating and communal area in between make the guest freely enjoy the space without any boundaries.

   When thinking of Gangnam, one of the images that easily come through our mind is the show windows and the showcases of the boutique shops along the shopping streets. The designer has imagined this to resemble as ‘Chaek Ga Do’, one of old Chosun Dynasty paintings, which has been expressed of bookshelves with variety of object and items that the scholars have cherished back then; this has been reinterpreted in the design of the partitions that continue around the public areas, and this has been applied to the ceiling piece as well which goes across from the lobby to the restaurant, connecting as an one open public area. Having Voco’s signature color, yellow and navy, expressed in furniture and spatial elements has given additional layers of vibrant mood, and the artists, Casper Kang and Jungmo Kwon have reinterpreted traditionional Korean aspects in modern touch with their artworks and lighting pieces.
   Total of 151 rooms and composed of six different types of guestrooms, Studio Eccentric has created colorful and vibrant rooms inspired by Gangnam energy. With variety of forms and colors, the rooms are expressed in Gangnam characteristics, in which are harmonized among bold contrast. In addition, bed headboards have been designed in unique touch with reinterpreted fabric pattern of waterfall image captured from the painting, ‘Jin Gyeong San Suhwa’ by Jungsun from Chosun Dynasty of seventeen century; efforts have been made trying to tie the locality of this hotel in a new manner. Six types of rooms are provided, deluxe singles suitable for businessmen, premier kings for one or two, suites and presidential suites for groups of guests. All views of the rooms present a nice view of Gangnam, one to the Han River and the other to Hakdong Park; some of the guestrooms uniquely present bathtubs located by the window, where guests can enjoy and relax as they mesmerize by the vibrant city view.

Copyright © 2022 Studio Eccentric Co., Ltd. All Rights Reserved.