OMA’s Galleria in Gwanggyo
Commanding a prominent corner site in the center of Gwanggyo, a new galleria designed by OMA / chris van duijn has opened its doors to the public. Marking the sixth outpost of Korea’s first and largest upscale department store franchise, the huge stone-like volume intends to become ‘a natural point of gravity’ for local residents in the burgeoning new city.
Surrounded by tall residential towers, the new galleria provides a welcome contrast to the existing urban context thanks to the dynamic use of glazing and stone on the elevational treatment. The textured mosaic stone façade, which is designed by OMA to evoke the nature of the neighbouring suwon gwanggyo lake park, creates an almost opalescent or marbled texture. puncturing this volume is a large element of multifaceted glazing, which gives the building an organic quality while also offering passersby a glimpse inside the department store.
In addition to breaking up the opacity of the large stone volume, the multifaceted glazing also serves as a public route that connects the sidewalk to a roof garden, which includes both retail and cultural activities. Through the glass, the indoor program is revealed to the city’s passersby, while visitors in the interior can enjoy new vantage points over gwanggyo. Formed with a sequence of cascading terraces, this public loop offers spaces for exhibitions and performances.