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Hyundai Department Store, South Korea’s leading department store chain, asked Jaime Hayon to design two VIP lounges for prosperous millennials. Following his signature whimsical and fun style, the Spanish designer and artist came up with two bold, and immersive spaces, that spark anyone’s imagination and creativity, while offering a unique hospitality experience.
Located inside the Hyundai Seoul, the city’s biggest department store, and Pangyo in Seongnam, one of Seoul’s satellite cities, both of the unique lounges greet customers in their 20s and 30s into a sophisticated yet playful space. Geometric and organic forms, funny patterns, bold colors, and amazing textures get together in perfect symbiosis, expressing the designer’s style and attitude.
These lounges are part of Hyundai Store’s VIP membership for members under 40 years old, which recently has emerged as the new big spenders of luxury goods in South Korea, allying their economic power with great sensibility and fashion-conscious styling. Jaime Hayon is well known for his irreverence, imagination, boldness, and experimentation, which marks and stands out in everything that he does, from interior, to furniture, to artworks.
I feel close to the generation the lounges are meant for. They are open to mixing and variety – transgressive in a way and this feels close to home for me.Jaime Hayon
These interiors take one into a fantasy land, delivering a surprising and unforgettable experience. Jaime Hayon looked at this project not only as an interior designer but as a scenographer as well, creating a series of theatrical spaces that display like the acts of an opera. Every element, from the furniture and lighting to wall paneling, floor tiles, and ceilings, to door handles, mirrors, and vases, was thought and designed by Jaime Hayon!
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Even though the lounges share the same style and design language, Jaime Hayon’s signatures, the interiors diverge in terms of concept and ambiance. The first one, The Pangyo lounge, inspired by the area’s thriving IT industry – Seongnam (considered South Korea’s Silicon Valley), mixes high-tech elements with traditional references, creating an interior where past and future meet.
Brick lattice walls are juxtaposed with shimmering metallic surfaces, ceramic components are contrasted with fiberglass sculptures, and hexagonal floor tiles feature pixelated Pac-Man-like designs. A palette of nudes, including grey, brown, beige, and cream hues is punctuated by bright yellow, orange, terracotta, and pops of green, with black and mauve accents forming an eccentric yet cohesive color scheme.
On the other hand, the Hyundai Seoul lounge presents a more subtle tonality and is completely covered with organic forms, round shapes, and sinuous lines. Although this VIP lounge is softer when it comes to color combination, it creates a dream environment that’s just as immersive as the other luxury lounge. Doorways have an important meaning in Jaime Hayon’s designs, as they represent a portal to another world. Wide arches, French doors, polka dot decorated double doors are some examples of how every opening in both lounges is uniquely designed to make you feel like you’re entering into something special.
Both spaces feature anthropomorphic animal sculptures, fantastical creatures that characterized Jaime Hayon’s works. Showcased on round pedestals, the sculptured mascots take on the role of playfully welcoming members into Jaime Hayon’s Wonderland VIP lounges with a clear message: leave all your problems outside that door, and allow yourself to have some fun!