There’s no denying Gentle Monster has elevated the retail game, opening a string of flagship stores and shop-in-shops with highly evocative interiors across the planet. The Seoul-based eyewear brand continues to push the envelope, because just when we all got comfortable shopping at our local Gentle Monster store, the company is about to reveal the very first of its next generation of flagship stores. Officially opening its doors in the bustling South Korean capital on Wed – Feb 24 is HAUS 0 10 10 10 1, or colloquially called HAUS Dosan as it’s situated in the city’s leafy shopping neighbourhood of Dosan, a hybrid store concept which combines both retail and hospitality. A puzzling name? Well, number ‘01’ is firm a nod to the world of quantum mechanics and represents the future’s forward direction which is very much embraced by the brand, and ‘HAUS’ is applied as a playfully Germanised metaphorical description of the future of the company’s ambitious retail endeavours, while it also signals its hybrid format and a more outspoken alignment with affiliated brands.
HAUS Dosan occupies a monumental five-storey concrete structure by local practice BCHO Architects, and was originally home to popular concept store Queenmama Market. The building has been fully redeveloped by Gentle Monster‘s in-house design team to meet the requirements of its so-called Unopened: Future theme. Upon entering the store, shoppers find themselves in a lounge space anchored by a collab artwork with Belgian artist Frederik Heyman. Here, shoppers also become instantly acquainted with another collaboration, a soundtrack to be precise, created by Barcelona-based Venezuelan producer, musician, and artist Arca. The second floor, home to the brand’s optical eyewear collection, sees a different setting inspired by the notions of minimalism and moderation, embedding the Truth or Dare video installation by German artist Jonas Lindstroem. One floor up, amidst Gentle Monster‘s coveted collections of sunglasses, shoppers find what’s arguably HAUS Dosan‘s niftiest feature–The Probe, a six-legged robot which took a year to construct. The colossal moving structure is kept in a fenced compound and forms an integral element of a sophisticated and graphic visual layering of the voluminous space which also includes promotional footage on large screens.
The top floor with its latticed glass roof accommodates a new outpost of affiliated cosmetics brand tamburins. Light and airy, oozing an art gallery vibe, the setting translates the brand’s black and white aesthetic into dark timber flooring paired with pristine white walls and wooden display tables interspersed with art pieces by leading contemporary artists Chulan Kwak, Mercedes Vicente and Casper Kang, in addition to a kinetic object, created in-house, which is inspired by reed in the wind and reflects its core values of elegance and uniqueness. Last but not least, the building’s basement accommodates a facility that’ll be much appreciated by power shoppers. Debuting on the premises is Nudake, a specialty restaurant and newly launched affiliated brand which aims to elevate the art of pastry to a whole new level. Understated and once again a space infused with art, this time courtesy of Italian artist Andrea Artemisio, it sees an elongated table crossing the room laden with various signature desserts and flanked on one side by an eclectic array of seating. A second new-generation flagship store, HAUS Shanghai, is currently under construction and scheduled to open coming May.