Korean concept store “Besides Kimchi” in Paris
The Korean concept store “Besides Kimchi”, place dedicated to fashion and Korean art de vivre has open its doors at the beginning of summer 2017. Unique in Paris, it is lo-cated between the Centre Pompidou and City Hall.
The SAME studio from start to finish spearheaded this project that was subject to heavy changes. At the corner of the Persnel and Saint Martin streets, the old salon is now articu-lated into two distinctive levels each reflecting two separate worlds: a ground floor dedicat-ed to “casual chic” women’s fashion presented as an art gallery, and a sub-level floor fo-cused on masculine street-wear.
The six-month long modifications ranged from structural issues to interior layouts to tailor-made furniture production.
The site’s identity stems from a precise work on the choice of materials:
Strong element of the color palette, a terrazzo composed of yellow and blue glass fragments has overtaken the floors as well as the exterior wall apron. The rest of the ground floor is dominantly treated with shades of white (powder-coated steel, expanded metal and white walls).
Referencing traditional Korean ceramics, the wall facing the entrance is decorated by a unique wall installation. A Cyril Dennery mural composed of 72 black and gold glazed ceramic disks greats the visitor as he walks in the store.
Across from them a totem-like black mass, whose functionality may seem mysterious, is actually used as a cash register and as a glass showcase for precious objects.
The rest of the furniture is treated in the lightest way possible as if the objects were in levi-tation above the ground. They attract the viewer’s eye towards the floor glass oculus that reveals the space below at the sub-level floor.
The sub-level floor has a darker subdued lighting. The walls are dyed in the mass, anthracite grey concrete. The ceiling is made of slabs black fiber wood. In opposition with the lightness of the higher-level furniture, two white massive furniture units contrast with the plush and raw atmosphere of the lower level.
With the creation of tailor-made light fixtures, the lighting project creates a link between the environments. Geometric pendant luminaires are hung on the ground level while neon lights representing the store logo remind the visitor of the luminous and colorful atmosphere of the streets of Seoul.