The eyewear brand’s renewal of its post in the South Korean city’s Starfield mall is inspired by the mathematical principal of self-similarity.

Key features 

A property typically observed in fractals (like Mandelbrot and Julia sets), self-similarity occurs when a shape or object embodies its original form on closer view. The team at Gentle Monster based their design concept for the renovated Hanam store on this phenomenon, representing the ‘infinite possibility of “expansion”’ through artworks, images and kinetic installations. The latter – surreal human-like machines that rapidly expand and contract – are situated at the store’s entrance. Steel fixtures, glossy black marble flooring and bold colours provide a backdrop for the audiovisual media in the retail area. 

The updated spot now has a hospitality offer, too: it’s the second South Korea location of luxury dessert brand Nudake (it’s first being in the eyewear label’s Seoul flagship Haus Dosan). Gentle Monster took a subdued approach to the café, opting for neutral materials, raw finishes and modernist-style furniture.

Frame’s take

While Gentle Monster Starfield Hanam takes visual cues from its predecessor Haus Dosan, it doesn’t fail at providing visitors with a unique spatial experience (something the brand achieves each time it unveils a new location). The moving line of human-esque faces at the entry might give some a fright, but the mysterious allure of the rest of the interior and the promise of dessert certainly work to counteract that. Gentle Monster’s clever incorporation of audiovisual content in their retail destinations gives the stores a sense of everlasting dynamism – as this new space reiterates, they are interiors you make a point to go and see even if new specs aren’t on the agenda.