Incheon, South Korea – Cutting through the sugary cuteness normally associated with teddy bears, a new store for artisan Joanne Oh by Seoul-based office WGNB frames Oh’s handmade cuddly toys within a dramatic, 3D linear architecture. Located on the first floor of Paradise City Plaza – a project realized by MVRDV in Incheon, South Korea – the 115-sq-m space is both shop and showroom, and it celebrates the craft origins of the bears, which have won a cult following in the country and beyond.
The concept reflects the way in which Oh hand-weaves the mohair fabric that she uses to make the bears, colouring the resulting materials with natural dyes. ‘We think it’s interesting to see the “skin” of the bears being produced by hand,’ explained WGNB’s Nayoon Yang, ‘so we opted to make the main motif of the space the handlooms and the mohair yarn that’s woven on them.’
Wooden loom structures interlaced with metal wire representing mohair yarns define the store, forming an elegant setting that’s effectively a geometric line-art installation. ‘We believe it’s important to seduce customers by adding impact to a retail space,’ said WGNB chief designer Jonghwan Baek. ‘We set out to create an impressive environment using only the handlooms and acrylic containers.’
South Korean design right now is all about discovering new materials and novel processes