David Chipperfield Architects, Berlin
As befits a headquarters building for a beauty company, Amorepacific conveys a sense of refinement throughout its interior. Its central atrium is a clean and spare essay in concrete, with deep coffered wells admitting daylight from above. The undersides of the loggia around the perimeter are smaller, waffle-slab echoes of the light wells, but are inset with perforated copper plates. Escalators extend along the perimeter, their column-free undersides and side panels finished in the same raw concrete as the other vertical surfaces. The dominant rectilinearity of the building and the atrium space is offset by the circular reception desk, overhung by a floating, circular electronic sign, burnished to a high silver sheen.
Views through the two layers of glass to the outdoor perimeter colonnade reinforce the continuity and symmetry of the structure. A standalone library is erected in the interstitial, glass-enclosed space between the atrium and the colonnade. In the auditorium, the raw, exposed concrete supports the raked seating, which is upholstered in a deep red fabric. The rhythm of squares established by the concrete ceiling in the lobby is replaced by a thin grid of grey steel, from which the theater’s lighting gantries and projection equipment is hung. In addition to being a corporate headquarters, the Amorepacific building also hosts a public art museum. Here also, the basic pattern of circular concrete columns, broadly gridded floor panel system and tighter ceiling grid is repeated, with local alterations for art display.