The deepest darkest soul in Seoul – Retail design by WGNB

The charcoal black, contemporary shaped building for fashion brand JUUN.J, is the first flagship store designed by WGNB architects in Seoul, Korea. The bold choice of color representing the brand and the sleek modern design with basic geometrical shapes makes this shop a definite addition in your must-visit list.

Seoul is the largest metropolis of South Korea, surrounded by charming mountains and a hilly landscape. This city has immensely grown in terms of design and architecture, gaining a prestigious title of ‘world design capital’ in the year 2010. It is no wonder that Seoul is the 9th most visited city in the world.

JUUN.J flagship store by WGNB
JUUN.J flagship store designed by WGNB architects

Black is a symbol and the most important component for Korean brand JUUN.J. The architects adopted the theme of ‘dark matter’ exploiting the attributes of black color playing with light and shadows. The most intriguing, eye-catching sight that strikes the viewers of this store is the integration of basic geometrical shapes and how it is formed abstractly to give a refreshing, sophisticated and modern look.

The entrance courtyard by WGNB
WGNB designed the entrance courtyard which greets visitors with a floating tree above lava rocks

The moment you enter the store, you are welcomed in a courtyard garden with a floating tree suspended above volcanic rocks. The steep triangle roof on the east side of the building and a contrasting natural light garden on the west side create a dramatic balance on the overall look of the composition.

A vital feeling to induce in visitors while exploring the brand’s universe was to generate curiosity as you go further.

Cafeteria under the awning by WGNB
Cafeteria under the awning is thoughtfully placed by WGNB, with lights coming from the courtyard as well as the ribbon window above

The large roof profile is placed so that the whole structure is absorbed within a deep shade of the steep awning. The darkness below the awning and the light coming from a ribbon window on the other side creates a contrasting performance within the black interior space. 

The cafeteria space plays strongly with human senses due to natural light dramatically penetrating from the ceiling as well as from the courtyard passing through dark materials. The garden inviting natural light yet forming another shadow with the floating tree is an intriguing view offered for the people sitting in the cafe enjoying the coffee by local brand FELT.

The store from west side by WGNB
The WGNB designed store showcases different depths of black shades absorbing light

But wait, that’s not all

Despite the numerous depths of darkness, the shop does have an anti-black space for women’s wear on the first floor, following the same language of clean and minimalistic interiors.


Talking to people terrifies me the most, which is why I started writing.
I am an architect from India, studying and working in Milan with my broken Italian and a bag full of spices.