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Located in Seoul, the Obzee Project will serve as the new headquarters for the various fashion lines that the company owns under its larger brand. The company currently operates out of a neighboring building, but it now seeks to expand its studio spaces, and in doing so, create an opportunity to establish a link between the new the brand and its corresponding architecture. Thus, this project is, in many ways, dedicated to spatializing, materializing, and fabricating a relationship with the sartorial craft, while also inventing a new icon within the city with which Obzee can be associated.
Located on Gang Dong. Boulevard, the new site faces south towards the Olympic park, with a grand vista onto the public gardens. Wedged between two existing buildings, the site will share a party wall with an existing office building to the east, but will remain apart from the current Obzee headquarters, where their entire staff is now housed. The idea of the expansion will be to eventually connect the new headquarters with the old quarters by way of a bridge, while leaving a sliver of space between them for better day-lighting, air circulation and visual communication.
Like many typical plots in Seoul, the dimensions of the site are tight, and the land value extremely high. In turn, this sets the parameters for the planning such that the only choice is to design up, creating a small tower. At the same time, since the program of the studios, the public spaces, and the interactive functions need to be well-connected, the basic site strategy is to fold the planning efforts into section, creating vertical links between programs to foster the best working relationships between departments and studios.
Office dA with Himma Studio Architecture
Principals in charge: Nader Tehrani and Hailim Suh
Project Design: Monica Ponce de Leon and Nader Tehrani
Project Coordinator: Richard Lee
Office dA – Brandon Clifford, Christain Ervin
Himma Studio – Seunghyun Kim, Jaehyung Park