Architecture | Interiors
13,401 sf /
SCAAA's renovation of the K1 gallery space in Seoul creates an arts hub for the local community
Since its inception in 1982, the Kukje Gallery has established itself as a cultural hub in the heart of Seoul, in the historic area of Samcheong-dong. Over the years, the gallery has nurtured and helped expand the global art market, showcasing works by major Korean and international artists.
SCAAA has been designing renovations for multiple buildings on the gallery’s urban campus since 2021. The first of SCAAA’s interventions on the site was to transform the culturally significant K1 gallery space from a multi-use arts and office space to host a fresh sequence of programming.
Circulation - efficient circulation and programming to address connected and tangled traffic lines.
Circulation was a primary design focus for the K1 building, which featured three exterior entrances, two internal elevators, and three internal staircases with programs that were all intricately connected and tangled. To facilitate efficient circulation the team tailored member-specific entrances and spaces to control flow by guest-type (VIP members, general customers, and staff).
Member-Specific Areas - member-specific areas as a means to control foot traffic.
The creation of member-specific areas makes circulation more efficient and affords gallery members greater privacy. In line with this effort, a bridge and external terrace were built on the third floor to expand the VIP space for multi-functional use as an event space and VIP lounge.
Programming - new programs can be operated by making full use of the existing space.
At the client’s request, SCAAA migrated the existing office spaces within the K1 building to two smaller disconnected buildings on the Kukje Gallery campus. With the available space, the client asked SCAAA to incorporate a spa.
The design of the spa was carefully conceived as a sequence of spaces that cater to the customer experience. The moment the guest enters the reception area, they are greeted with a fresh aroma of the spa essential oils commencing the process of relaxation. Next, the elegant illusion of “moving” stairs piques the customer’s interest. As the guest draws closer to the spa, the hallway carries a darker tone and the sounds and scents of relaxation are amplified.
The spatial arrangement of spa within the building caters to the guest-specific circulation, as a newly constructed terrace and bridge provide vertical connectivity between floors. The bridge connects the first and third floors, providing guests with a visual order and physical ease of access.
The renovations of the K1 building were completed in 2023. SCAAA is currently working on other projects on the Kukje Gallery campus.