Hyundai Showrooms

Seoul, South Korea


Our approach for Hyundai’s architecture is simple: clean, elegant and sophisticated design in line with the power and elegance of the company’s global brand. To achieve this goal we started with a premise that the Hyundai logo carries with it the “DNA” of the entire brand. From the logo’s “architecture,” one can recognize an iconic style present not only in the company’s automobiles but also in Hyundai’s overall brand identity. For us, this iconography is critical to the design of Hyundai’s new architectural identity.


The three types of buildings we explored in this project for Hyundai all belong to a single family of identity, but they are also unique to the variable purposes of the different types.


The 3S Global Flagship, being the largest and most iconographic building of the family, was designed as a powerful building that stands up to the other automotive flagships in the world. By celebrating a courageous, modern and sophisticated architectural solution, its architecture promotes Hyundai’s global presence and the international power of its brand. 


The 3S Flagship places a priority on the cars being displayed, framing and highlighting them with architecture, rather than making architecture a higher priority. The main features of the 3S Global Flagship are the large and expansive glass enclosures that showcase the products, both in the showroom as well as the order fulfillment area. The second important feature is the vivid and dynamic structural column set within the large showroom space. The form of this column, derived from the logo design, not only supports the roof above but also forms a beautiful and iconic centerpiece to the space as a whole. Acting as structure and a symbolic gesture of purity, liquidity and elegance, the column embodies the spirit of Hyundai’s past, present and future. As a single iconographic gesture towards fluidic design, it embodies not only natural forces but also the sophisticated and modern premium of the Hyundai brand.


The 3S Flagship is also an incredibly efficient building. Positioned next to the street intersection, it has maximum exposure to drivers and pedestrians. The parking area also welcomes visitors with openness and freshness of air, light, warm materials, nature and sophisticated design features. Video images, advertising, logos, texts and brand information are all seamlessly fused into the building’s design, while the architecture intentionally avoids the clichés of overwhelming advertisements and unwelcoming sales areas which so often limit the automotive viewing and buying experience. Here the customers and visitors are the focus, while the cars are the target and the architecture is the atmosphere for the experience.


We designed this architecture as an elegant statement of glass, light and structural strength that broadcasts its message around the clock. By day the architecture is an inviting and exuberant place of technological elegance, and by night it an illuminated showcase of beauty and desire. The Flagship’s interior design locates various zones for specific experiences. There is immediate access from the showroom at the front of the building through an impressive ‘Hyundai branded’ gateway. Once inside the showroom, the showcase cars elevated on elegant podiums are visible from the street, and from below as the mirror surfaces that hang above rotate slowly to offer visitors full dimensional views of the automobiles. The base of the large structural column accommodates a special showcase area for Hyundai concept cars where displayed vehicles are set on an illuminated floor. The mezzanine is another area utilized for special vehicles and is curated around themes of environmental sustainability and family-friendly vehicles. The areas above the mezzanine and main showroom floor include the hi-tech innovation center, the children’s learning center and the brand experience zone. Through this area, the order fulfillment zone can be accessed, where new car owners experience the once-in-a-lifetime event of driving their newly minted vehicles. The cars emerge from beneath this space on hydraulic lifts celebrating the cars completion and delivery. From the lift areas, the new vehicle owners drive their cars out of the showroom and into the world: the first experience of owning a Hyundai!


The 2S Premium Service Center, meanwhile, is designed as a practical and purposeful space for the maintenance and oversight of owned Hyundai vehicles. Sharing a similar Hyundai DNA with the 3S Flagship, the large open space of the Service Center is populated with dynamic columns that are streamlined to allow for efficient and practical work-spaces. With its added efficiency and practicality, 2S’s architectural experience is also incredibly elegant and innovative. For example the ceiling of the main 2S repair space is a beautiful and illuminated surface detailed with Hyundai column capitals and location numbers for visitors to watch their cars being repaired. Secondly, the main level of activity is elevated a half-story above grade, producing not only an efficient vehicular access for the mechanics but also an innovative strategy for presenting the entire workshop area as if it were a stage for an elegant performance. The idea here is that Hyundai’s automotive maintenance is to be seen as a clean, attractive and technical experience set within an architectural environment that gives the company yet another unique and innovative branding leverage.


Likewise, the 1S Sales Showroom is a clean and elegant space taking its queues form the overall strategy of 3S and 2S’s Hyundai DNA . The Hyundai-branded spotlights, the precise use of blue, the automobiles’ visibility and the overall spatiality are all distilled from the Flagship’s larger scale components, and deployed here with significant attention to practicality, budget and automobile sales.


Our approach to Hyundai’s Global Space Identity is to achieve a Hyundai look-and-feel that connects with Hyundai’s cars and its innovative brand-identity. The architectural aspects of the brand reflect the thoughtful, modern and clean approach that Hyundai embraces in its product line, and it evokes this with a sense of contemporary style and sophistication. Our designs for 3S, 2S and 1S all embrace the inherent technological beauty and approach of the Hyundai Corporation, bringing those values to an architectural approach of equal ambition and stature.

Date: 2011


Location: Seoul, South Korea


Architect: Asymptote Architecture


Design: Hani Rashid, Lise Anne Couture


Project Director: Josh Dannenberg


Design Team: Danny Abalos, DuHo Choi,
Oliver Dibrova, John Hsu, Jungeun Kim, Makiko Nukaga
Ryan Macyauksi, Penghan Wu, Yun Shi


Structural Engineer: