Jouin Manku drafts Korean landscape in the interiors of Van Cleef & Arpels Seoul Maison

Studio Jouin Manku designed the Van Cleef & Arpels’ Seoul Maison, linking the east and the west through a blend of Korean design cultures and contemporary principles.

by Sunena V MajuPublished on : Jan 10, 2023

The Korean perception of nature is rather interesting, often seen in the omnipresence of gardens in Seoul, within palaces, private houses, and temples. For Van Cleef & Arpels' new store in Seoul, South Korea, Paris-based Studio Jouin Manku borrowed inspiration from this cultural trait of the country. Marking 16 years of collaboration with the French luxury jewellery brand, Sanjit Manku and Patrick Jouin present the new store as a space, creating an opportunity, sharing in the world's fascination with jewellery design. Narrating nature, the forest and its enchantment as the essence of Van Cleef & Arpels Maison, the architect shares, "The mountain is the highest point at the intersection of sky and ground, a place of serenity, rich in endemic vegetation, unique and prodigious, and charged with spirituality,” and also the soul of this concept.

  • After Paris, New York, Hong Kong and Tokyo, Studio Jouin Manku has completed Van Cleef & Arpels’ Maison in Seoul | Van Cleef & Arpels | Jouin Manku | STIRworld
    After Paris, New York, Hong Kong and Tokyo, Studio Jouin Manku has completed Van Cleef & Arpels’ Maison in Seoul Image: © Yongjoon Choi
  • Patrick Jouin and Sanjit Manku of Studio Jouin Manku were entrusted with the architectural conception of the building, the interior architecture and the design of every final detail | Van Cleef & Arpels | Jouin Manku | STIRworld
    Patrick Jouin and Sanjit Manku of Studio Jouin Manku were entrusted with the architectural conception of the building, the interior architecture and the design of every final detail Image: © Yongjoon Choi

Reflecting on the rich diversity of the metropolis—where skyscrapers, modern developments and a vibrant entertainment culture sync with traditional Buddhist temples, historic palaces and street life—the Van Cleef & Arpels store expresses links between the east and the west. Bridging the richness of Korean culture with the French brand’s craftsmanship and heritage, the retail design borrows from contextual influences and realises them through contemporary architecture. "No question of bringing in ideas of style, but rather of teasing out a sophisticated blend, inextricably combining commerce and culture, contemporary and craftsmanship. Jouin Manku has put its vision of European and occidental architecture to the test by endeavouring to embrace Korean ideas, reflecting the country’s vast cultural wealth in the project. Advocating the spirit of opening up to the world in order to find our natural place in a new ecosystem," state the Parisian design studio.

  • The project seeks to offer Korea a Van Cleef & Arpels showcase, exposing its level of craftsmanship, its heritage and taste for the arts and culture | Van Cleef & Arpels | Jouin Manku | STIRworld
    The project seeks to offer Korea a Van Cleef & Arpels showcase, exposing its level of craftsmanship, its heritage and taste for the arts and culture Image: © Yongjoon Choi
  • Studio Jouin Manku has put its vision of European and occidental architecture to the test by embracing Korean ideas, reflecting the country’s vast cultural wealth in the project | Van Cleef & Arpels | Jouin Manku | STIRworld
    Studio Jouin Manku has put its vision of European and occidental architecture to the test by embracing Korean ideas, reflecting the country’s vast cultural wealth in the project Image: © Yongjoon Choi

Across the five levels of the buildings, the designers have incorporated the concept of a garden into the indoors, thereby creating multiple intriguing landscape interventions in the interior design. Blurring lines between indoors and outdoors, house and garden, and culture and commerce, the landscape design evolves in the interiors, giving birth to multiple functional spaces that are passively separated by garden features.

For designing the landscape, Studio Jouin Manku employed YoungSun Jung's team of landscape designers at South Korea-based SeoAhn Total Landscape (STL). The firm has an experience of designing landscapes and gardens in Korea, and with their knowledge of the Korean environment and its endemic species managed to recreate the environment of a typical Korean mountain, inside the Seoul store of Van Cleef & Arpels. On each floor, the landscape design adorns a different identity—varying from planters, rock clusters, and terrace gardens.

  • Nature, the forest and its enchantment are the essence of Van Cleef & Arpels Seoul Maison | Van Cleef & Arpels | Jouin Manku | STIRworld
    Nature, the forest and its enchantment are the essence of Van Cleef & Arpels Seoul Maison Image: © Yongjoon Choi
  • The interior design blends Korean material and craft cultures with contemporary principles of modern design | Van Cleef & Arpels | Jouin Manku | STIRworld
    The interior design blends Korean material and craft cultures with contemporary principles of modern design Image: © Yongjoon Choi

"The vegetation invites itself into the building, it does not decorate it, it is the landscape on every floor, from the façade to the roof. The visitor wanders through the building as if on a pathway, which they follow to admire the jewels that appear to be suspended, integrated into this nature,” adds Studio Jouin Manku. 

Additionally, the jewellery displays adopt an interesting form, appearing to be an abstract of trees. With a trunk-like pedestal that concludes on a glass bell jar, the design of the jewellery display platforms extends to many analogies. Reminiscent of the rose from the Beauty and the Beast, here the jewellery becomes the precious rose.

  • Blurring the lines between indoors and outdoors, the subtle pastel tone of the interiors marries the earthy tones of greens and brown | Van Cleef & Arpels | Jouin Manku | STIRworld
    Blurring the lines between indoors and outdoors, the subtle pastel tone of the interiors marries the earthy tones of greens and brown Image: © Yongjoon Choi
  • The landscape designers’ knowledge of the Korean environment and endemic species allowed them to recreate a typical Korean mountain nature | Van Cleef & Arpels | Jouin Manku | STIRworld
    The landscape designers’ knowledge of the Korean environment and endemic species allowed them to recreate a typical Korean mountain nature Image: © Yongjoon Choi

Furthermore, the influence of Korean architecture and culture can also be witnessed in the material palette of the store. The walls have been covered in Hanji, an ancestral Korean craft. Talking about their vision behind working with the unique craft, the designers share, “Thanks to the numerous characteristics with which it is endowed, Hanji has had, and still has today, a multitude of uses, from the most ordinary to the most surprising, such as its longevity–of about one thousand years against two hundred years for our European paper–and its exceptional solidity. Filtering the light, which it sifts, and letting the air circulate, the 'paper that breathes' was for a long time a central element of the Korean interior.”

  • The facade is composed of 207 intersecting elements and rhythmed by 3900 unique pieces of Yeoju celadon ceramic, 3900 aluminium pieces, and 120 light sources | Van Cleef & Arpels | Jouin Manku | STIRworld
    The facade is composed of 207 intersecting elements and rhythmed by 3900 unique pieces of Yeoju celadon ceramic, 3900 aluminium pieces, and 120 light sources Image: © Yongjoon Choi
  • Combining tradition and modernity, the facade design adorns a diamond pattern realised using celadon, the traditional Korean ceramic and cast aluminium | Van Cleef & Arpels | Jouin Manku | STIRworld
    Combining tradition and modernity, the facade design adorns a diamond pattern realised using celadon, the traditional Korean ceramic and cast aluminium Image: © Yongjoon Choi

Another unique feature of the design is the detailed glass facade. Combining tradition and modernity, the facade design adorns a diamond pattern, realised using celadon, the traditional Korean ceramic and cast aluminium. “This combination of celadon and aluminium envelops the building, which encloses the gardens and the interior spaces, but it’s also something that prevents you from feeling like you are in a fishbowl, because of the floor to ceiling glass," share Sanjit Manku and Patrick Jouin of Studio Jouin Manku. The facade is composed of 207 intersecting elements and synced by 3900 unique pieces of Yeoju celadon ceramic, 3900 aluminium pieces, and 120 light sources.

  • The project is decorated with 634 sq.m of sheets of Korean Hanji paper | Van Cleef & Arpels | Jouin Manku | STIRworld
    The project is decorated with 634 sq.m of sheets of Korean Hanji paper Image: © Yongjoon Choi
  • 35 per cent of the surface area is given over to interior and exterior landscaped areas | Van Cleef & Arpels | Jouin Manku | STIRworld
    35 per cent of the surface area is given over to interior and exterior landscaped areas Image: © Yongjoon Choi
  • The visitor wanders through the building as if on a pathway, which they follow to admire the jewels that appear to be suspended, integrated into this nature | Jouin Manku | STIRworld
    The visitor wanders through the building as if on a pathway, which they follow to admire the jewels that appear to be suspended, integrated into this nature Image: © Yongjoon Choi

They further add, "This project offered us the opportunity to imagine a whole new building, a structure that would establish Van Cleef & Arpels as a prominent feature in the Seoul landscape. Over five levels, we have designed a dreamlike natural decor with spaces suited to hosting artistic functions—exhibitions and conferences—along with an itinerary in which lively spaces alternate with intimate islands of tranquillity.”

“It was not just a matter of reducing the boundary between culture and commerce, inside and outside, between house and garden, these two elements had to merge in total harmony, share the designers | Van Cleef & Arpels | Jouin Manku | STIRworld
“It was not just a matter of reducing the boundary between culture and commerce, inside and outside, between house and garden, these two elements had to merge in total harmony," share the designers Image: © Yongjoon Choi

Mentioning the brand’s presence in Seoul with the new house, Nicolas Bos, President and CEO of Van Cleef & Arpels said, “With the creation of this new Maison, we are celebrating ever stronger bonds with this country, known for a long tradition of craftsmanship, that echoes the values espoused by Van Cleef & Arpels. Indeed, the boutique was designed to form a union between the French jewellery tradition and Korean cultural heritage, and to nurture this dialogue for years to come.”

Project Details

Name: Van Cleef & Arpels La Maison Seoul
Location: 441, Apgujeong-ro, Gangnam-gu Seoul, South Korea
Design: Studio Jouin Manku
Design Team: Patrick Jouin, Sanjit Manku Jacques Goubin, Yann Brossier, Olivier Evrard, Dorien Peters, Julien Lizé
Studio Location: Paris, France
Executive architect: DPJ & Partners - David Pierre Jalicon - Seoul, South Korea
Lighting Designer: Voyons Voir - Stéphane Carratero - Paris, France
Landscape Designer: STL - Seo-Ahn Total Landscape - YoungSun JUNG - Soojeong KIM - Seoul, South Korea
General architectural contractor facade: JLCOM
Celadon Ceramic for Facade: Maison Objet 
General Interior Design Company and Stair: JOIN
Furniture: Studio Jouin Manku (bespoke design) and Studio Patrick Jouin iD (Ester collection for Pedrali / Manda and Vendôme collection for Starset)

What do you think?

About Author

Recommended

LOAD MORE
see more articles
4114,4152,4322,4165,4245

Keep it stirring

get regular updates SIGN UP

This site uses cookies to offer you an improved and personalised experience. If you continue to browse, we will assume your consent for the same.
LEARN MORE AGREE