Universal Design Studio was appointed to design a new architectural identity for H&M stores as part of an ongoing project with the multi-national fashion brand. The latest project to be completed is H&M Seoul, Korea.
Universal Design Studio produced a series of geometric architectural elements that can be tailored to create dramatic and unique site-specific installations. Current iterations of the sculptural pleated concept include giant exterior facades, multi-storey interior window installations and a collection of concept staircases.
The core concept: a rigid, geometric pattern, can be repeated in numerous combinations and translated into different materials and mediums, in two and three-dimensional application, and for internal and external use. It can also be used as a vertical or horizontal arrangement. This allows it the flexibility to be applied to any store, in any location across the globe, creating overall brand consistency whilst the versatility of the pattern allows each store to take on its own personal identity.
Universal Design Studio has accentuated the three-dimensional appearance of the Seoul facade by using small and large-scale perforations to produce tonal contrast and visual depth to the pleated cladding. The façade comes alive at night when concealed illumination turns the store into a dramatically lit beacon. The three-storey-high sculptural relief creates an effect that softens the hard, dominant lines of the existing building structure. Internally, the design also includes a concept staircase created from a ‘ribbon’ of white glass. This forms the internal balustrade, and an articulated shroud of tightly stacked vertical louvers form the external walls.
Universal Design Studio’s rolling project with H&M shows their ability to tailor solutions to individual sites whilst still creating engaging spaces and brand continuity. For the client, the design has created a strong and highly visual statement for H&M in a new, highly aesthetic and design-conscious market. The original brief was to create an iconic façade concept that could be used to brand the first Asian H&M flagship stores but the design has proved so successful that it is now used as H&M’s global identity and will be applied to stores all over the world.
Description from the architects