© OMA / Photography: Hong Sung Jun

Situated just a half hour drive south of Seoul‘s hustle and bustle, Suwon is a boomtown in its own right. With a population of nearly one-and-a-half million, it has a sophisticated infrastructure which increasingly rivals the South Korean capital’s elaborate offerings, including coveted luxury trophies. As of late, The Galleria a.k.a. Galleria, the country’s leading upscale department store chain has opened its sixth branch in Gwanggyo New Town, a newly developed and affluent part of Suwon. The department store sits in a striking purpose-built structure, designed by renowned Dutch architecture practice OMA, and is part of a major urban planning scheme which aims to give the area a major boost on different levels. Featuring a total of thirteen floors, including an expansive basement area, the building is sculpted as a stone volume with a façade covered in a mosaic of chemically colourised natural stone tiles which evokes the nature of nearby Gwanggyo Lake Park. A public route is excavated from the stone volume and encased in multifaceted glass and brass frames, connecting it to a roof garden.

Aptly baptised Art Route, it’s formed with a sequence of cascading terraces and features spaces for exhibitions and performances. The floor configuration of The Galleria‘s newest department store aims to woo Suwon‘s savvy dwellers off their socks with a wide and varied selection of offerings. The basement is fully dedicated to food and culinary experiences, and accommodates a food market, deli and Gourmet 494, the nations’s very first grocerant, an imported concept which blurs of the line between restaurants and grocery stores. The following floors, up to the seventh to be precise, are brimming with top-notch apparel for men, women and kids, including sportswear, in addition to jewellery and watches, and cosmetics, all presented in different alluring settings. On the eighth floor, it’s all about living in style, given the abundant presence of home appliances, furniture pieces, tableware, kitchen utensils and bedding. Feeling peckish from power shopping? One floor up, even more dining and food options can be found. A full-fledged movie theatre occupies the eleventh and twelfth floors, and finally, on the top floor, a cultural centre, lounge and other event spaces can be found.

The Galleria
320 Gwanggyo Hosugong Won-ro (Gwanggyo)
16514 Suwon
Telephone: +82 31 3036921
Mon-Thu 10.30-8
Fri-Sun 10.30-8-30

© OMA / Photography: Hong Sung Jun