French architect and urbanist Christian de Portzamparc, who won the prestigious award in 1994, is considered a genius at modeling and shaping his facades as if they were an arrangement of draped fabrics rather than a solid element of the architectural structure. The House of Dior, located in the stylish Gangnam shopping district of Seoul, Korea, is a vivid translation of Dior’s style that echoes the exquisite textiles and fashions of the Dior collections in the building’s envelope. For the facade, Portzamparc had twelve separate shells molded out of white fiberglass. They surround two sides of the building like billowing curtains, only opening occasionally to reveal glass-fronted apertures and an entrance. Inside, American interior designer Peter Marino has created a pastel-colored cosmos with monochrome tiled floors and mirrored walls where the French brand’s luxury goods are displayed amidst works of fine contemporary art and furniture. His inspiration for the interior came from Dior’s historic first boutique, the 1940s store on Avenue Montaigne in Paris.
Text: Uta Abendroth