UN Studio just completed construction on a futuristic new department store in Korea that boasts an energy-efficient double skin and the largest illuminated facade in the world. Situated in Cheonan, the Galleria Centercity is both public and private, open and intimate, and the social components of the design are as important as the retail elements. Inside, layers of space expand upwards with many recesses for visitors to socialize and wander through, while the translucent exterior lets daylight penetrate in without overheating the complex. At night, the building glows like a lantern and dazzles passersby with a giant light show.
UN Studio‘s complex layered layout is wrapped in a day-lit, futuristic skin. Unlike most malls, this one takes a vertical approach, saving energy and land. Based on a propeller typology, the interior flows around a central pavilion with four wings allowing visitors to take multiple routes through the complex to discover the shops, entertainment and food venues. Just a quick train trip from the city center, the simple shape of the exterior betrays the variety of the spaces inside.
The double-layered glass and translucent skin on the exterior allows light to penetrate into the white-colored core of the building, reducing energy consumption and connecting the inside with the outside. The facade’s fenestration creates a moire ripple effect in the day time, and at night it becomes a kinetic light show.