© Various Associates / Photography: SFAP

Given a robust economy that has largely expanded for many years, South Korea‘s retail scene has seen some pretty interesting developments that have made it the unprecedented hotbed for new concepts it is today. As such, it’s no coincidence that adidas recently opened its Asia-Pacific flagship store in the vibrant epicentre of it all—Seoul. Needless to say, the retail space has a special concept, dubbed Home of Sport, which fuses Korean elements with the adidas design codes. Designed by Shenzhen-based architecture practice Various Associates, there was a bit of a challenge to accommodate the large volumes of merchandise with ample display space, and at the same time, adapt the design to an existing ceiling track system and visual merchandise display system.

A striking new façade design extends the block outline of traditional Korean architecture while seamlessly blending in with the original façade of the building and tapping into to the neighbourhood’s lively buzz. Parallel linear metal strips conceptually derived from the iconic adidas logo as a key motif is not only highlighted on the façade, but can also be found throughout the premises. The adidas store’s symmetrical ground floor entrance and atrium take cues from the entry experience of a traditional Korean courtyard. A custom footwear wall for the Sportswear series sits on the left, featuring the strip element extracted from the adidas logo. The existing ceiling track system has been masterfully updated and now sees triangular supporting truss work inspired by the construction of stadiums while also adding another distinct visual layering to all settings.

On the ground floor, the most popular series of products in South Korea are displayed close to entry, including sportswear and running gear, making it convenient for shoppers to pick products that match their habits and needs. Meanwhile, the City Shop and Seoul Lab sections, which were co-created with adidas, offer services exclusive to the flagship store. Throughout the store, digital interactive screens encourage shoppers to interact and provide product guidance. Additionally, a large built-in interactive digital floor is tucked under the central staircase which shows off different footage when stepping on it. A grand central staircase near the entrance leads to the second floor, featuring see-through steps which allows it to be a an airy presence and a focal point at the same time. The contour of the atrium echoes the inclined shape of the façade to create a conversation between the interiors and the exterior.

The luminous line-work is an abstract reinterpretation of the common basketball court lines, and combined with a clean material choice, it lends the atrium area a dynamic atmosphere. Suspended colourful banners within the atrium area aim to recall the feeling of a sports arena, and are in fact an homage to adidas‘ dedication to providing professional sportswear and care for all kinds of sports. On the second floor, a large section is dedicated to the adidas Originals collection. The blue-washed area with specially designed furnishings not only displays the line’s classic products, but also contains a flexible pop-up area for special occasions. The new adidas flagship store carries the brand’s full range of products, including Sport Performance, Y-3, adidas by Stella McCartney, and as said, adidas Originals.

27 Myeongdong 8-gil
04536 Seoul
Telephone: +82 2 7799834
Daily 11am-10pm

© Various Associates / Photography: SFAP