David Chipperfield Architects

Seoul, South Korea


Raphael Olivier

Beauty in appearances and acoustics

AMOREPACIFIC is the largest cosmetics company in Korea, responsible for a portfolio of 30 brands. The company’s new headquarters, which was designed and completed by David Chipperfield Architects, is in Seoul, South Korea.

The cube-shaped 22-storey building represents AMOREPACIFIC’s creativity and ambition. The design concept revolves around ensuring open communication with AMOREPACIFIC’s employees and the local community. More than 3,500 AMOREPACIFIC employees will work out of the building.

In addition to the office areas, the site incorporates a museum, a library of exhibition catalogues, an auditorium and a tea house. It also includes three gardens, which each cover an entire side of a separate section of the headquarters.

To ensure a perfect match with the building’s design requirements, Kvadrat Acoustics R&D developed special product and installation solutions, throughout the project. Furthermore, a Kvadrat Acoustics production facility was set up in Seoul. This guaranteed an optimal delivery schedule and the ability to swiftly make changes, if and when new requirements emerged.

Different types of custom Soft Cells panels by Kvadrat Acoustics are installed on walls and ceilings throughout the building. The areas they are used in are: offices, meeting rooms, customer test areas, auditoriums, the CEO’s room, the museum, the VIP floor and utility areas, including a nursery.

A specially-defined 50 mm Soft Cell acoustic panel installation depth was developed for the headquarters (Usually Soft Cells panels have an installation depth of 55 mm.). To achieve this, new modified profiles were extruded while installation parts were redesigned.

Instead of magnets, a suspension system with horizontal profiles on the walls and fastening hooks in the panels is used at the building. Cost-effective, this helped to accelerate the installation process on long walls with many similar sized panels.

L-shaped Soft Cells panels were engineered especially for the project. This met the need from the architects for panels that go around corners. To create these, the Kvadrat Acoustics team applied an existing way of fixing textile on small acoustic panels to standard-size frames.

This led to the development of acoustic panels which feature a piece of textile that goes around a corner. Crucially, the challenges provided by fire curtains and particular structures are met by this new design.

Extra slim Soft Cells panels were also created for the AMOREPACIFIC headquarters. These are just 20 mm thick and are used on all fire hydrant doors.

Behind Kvadrat Acoustics stands an innovative approach and unique methodology of thought, based on a universal philosophy of life. A philosophy that not only aims to continuously improve the environment we as humans live, work and relax in, but also to balance the measures taken with what a product actually offers, to find a solution of purpose rather than of mere function.

This philosophy fits in perfectly with our holistic building concept, which elaborates not only the professional ambitions of the company but also on its social and cultural aspirations, by combining the workplace with a wide range of communal activities,’ Christoph Felger, Partner and Design Director at David Chipperfield Architects Berlin, responsible for the design of a new headquarters for Amorepacific, Seoul, Korea’s largest beauty and cosmetic company.