Based on the existing site of the original Louis Vuitton store, this new Maison is a celebration of the strong connection between Louis Vuitton and Korean culture. In imagining his design, Frank Gehry chose to reference not only the shape of the existing Fondation Louis Vuitton in Paris, but was also inspired by elements of historical Korean architecture such as the Hwaseong Fortress, dating back to the 18th century, as well as the swooping movements and white costumes of the Dongnae Hakchum (crane dance).
The result is a poetic structure created primarily using Gehry’s trademark curved glass, each panel specially molded and attached to a bespoke metal lattice. The glass covers the entire front of the structure, beginning with a high zig-zagging vestibule and window, leading up to a series of enclosed terraces and culminating in waves of louvered glass panels, to give an impression of flight, or of the roof of the building itself evaporating into the clouds above. The walls and base of the building are constructed from white stone to enhance this sense of weightlessness.
“What struck me when I first visited Seoul nearly 25 years ago, was the relationship between the architecture and the natural landscape. I still remember clearly the powerful impressions I had stepping up from the garden of Jongmyo Shrine” explains Frank Gehry, adding “I am delighted to have designed Louis Vuitton Maison Seoul, reflecting the traditional values of the Korean culture.”