Ann Demeulemeester Seoul

Tucked in an alleyway perpendicular to Maison Hermès are Hong Taek and Kim Chanjoong’s Paul Smith building, and Cho Minseok’s Ann Demeulemeester Shop. Paul Smith’s former flagship store is a striking white polished monolith with a seductive organic shape not unlike a gigantic tooth. In spite of the colored sign now painted on the surface, it’s still well worth a visit. A few doors down, the Demeulemeester shop is a curious creation with a green skin of living plants. Whether some might call it a chia building or the result of a sordid affair between Oscar the Grouch and a concrete culvert, it’s pretty cool and definitely a must see.

Further south on the corner of Dosandae-ro and Eonju-ro, the Hyundai Motorstudio houses galleries, a café and lots of cars – tilted sideways and displayed in the front window. Conceived by local architect Suh Eulho of Suh Architects, he used 36,000 meters of steel pipes and anodized steel panels supplied by affiliates within the Hyundai Motor Group to create the interior and exterior architecture.

“ I dream of a new age of curiosity. We have the technical means for it; the desire is there; the things to be known are infinite; the people who can employ themselves at this task exist. Why do we suffer? From too little: from channels that are too narrow, skimpy, quasi-monopolistic, insufficient. There is no point in adopting a quasi- protectionist attitude, to prevent 'bad' information from invading and suffocating the 'good'. Rather, we must simply multiply the paths and the possibilities of comings and goings."

Philosopher Michel Foucault