URBAN BLOOM: Daejeon Galleria Department Store By CA PLAN

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Completed in December 2020, the URBAN BLOOM is a remodeling project of the Galleria Department Store, a landmark in Daejeon, South Korea built in the 1990s. The project, designed by CA PLAN is located in Dunsan-dong, the central business district of Daejeon, which is surrounded with small and medium-scaled buildings with gray stones built during the rapid industrialization period. Dunsan-dong is the busiest downtown in Daejeon and a commercial center where many citizens visit.

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Text description provided by architects. Located in the center of Dunsan-dong, Daejeon Galleria Department Store has maintained its reputation as an iconic landmark of the area as well as representing Daejeon’s commercial district since its establishment in the 1990s. However, the surrounding area including Galleria is full of formally designed buildings and signboards which were rapidly developed in the 1990s.


To change this gloomy atmosphere and also attract many people to the Galleria Department Store, we thought that there should be a conceptual and physical distinctness from surrounding buildings. Thus we named it as ‘nature-inspired sculpture.’ The new concept of an iconic Galleria Department Store, ‘URBAN BLOOM,’ implies a formative concept of symbolizing blooming flowers while seeking evolution and recovery towards the natural scenery instead of artificial city exteriors. The features of 5700 petals placed on the node of organic grids are algorithmically designed in different sizes and shapes.

Indeed, the algorithm of Urban Bloom was planned based on the nature of spontaneous generation, which explains that a single unit of flower has similarities, but every flower has different shapes when observed. The petal module generated by the algorithm was made of metal panels, with lights installed in the center of the petal module, which transforms the entire façade into a media façade at night. Built with RGB LED modules installed with a spacing of approximately 1.5m, the media façade produces low pitch images. The 70-meter-high media façade features videos of urban residents passing by, big waves, snow flowers and so on, creating a fantasy for the night view of Dunsan-dong, which you cannot see in the daytime.

To complete the entire project including 5700 petal modules within a year was very challenging for us. Once the petal module was designed according to the algorithm, it was handed over to the factory with a development figure. Drawings were handed to the automatic bending machine after the data transformation process. In order to minimize site construction, we produced prefabricated modules per unit area in the factory and applied the concept of OSC(Off-Site-Construction), which can shorten the construction period and minimize environmental pollution.

The post-covid19 era has led to the development of the online industry that enables contactless communication, but paradoxically it also implies the importance of offline space and its value. The offline space, where citizens can safely settle down and obtain new experiences and inspirations, will become more important. In that sense, the Urban Bloom project in Daejeon Galleria Department Store will contribute to revitalize the city in that it creates a place for urban citizens to gather and entertain themselves.

Client: Hanwha Galleria
Site:  211, Daedeok-daero, Seo-gu, Daejeon, Republic of Korea
Completion: 2020, December
Scope of Works: Schematic Design, Design Development, Construction Manager
Categories: Architecture, Interior, Brand Design, Visual Identity

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