A burgeoning industry, optical retail has in recent years been a generator of strong spatial design all over the world: just look to the shops of Dutch brand Ace & Tate, Mold Architects’ build for Centro Ottici in Athens and Opium by Renesa Architecture in Mumbai. Seoul-based brand Papyrus contributes to that example with its latest flagship store, opened last month in the South Korean capital’s Nine One Hannam, a luxury residential apartment complex. The space was designed by WGNBFrame Awards 2020’s People’s Choice winner of Designer of the Year.

WGNB previously completed a retail interior for Papyrus in Seoul, in 2014. The most recent opening follows an updated visual code, combining bold blue surfaces with architectural stainless steel fixtures finished in terracotta red. Eyewear sits upon soft suede surfaces, inviting shoppers to peruse. Materiality is a driving element of the project: departing from the looks of the retail area, a space for examination area takes on a more clinical identity, decked in white marble and stainless steel. The geometric lighting pieces that illuminate the store were created in collaboration with Viabizzuno.

‘The fundamental of both eyewear and architecture lie upon the idea of building ideal structures for different environments,’ explains a spokesperson for the studio. ‘In this sense, we created an ideal structure for the space by combining both functional fixtures and aesthetic objects.’


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