Mind bending design at Paradise City

MVRDV has completed construction on The Imprint, a new 2-building art-entertainment complex at Paradise City, near to Seoul’s Incheon Airport.

Featuring a nightclub in one building and indoor theme park in the other, the windowless structures feature three key design elements: imprints of the façade features of surrounding buildings, lifted entrances, and a golden entrance spot covering one corner of the nightclub building.

Given the proposed programme of the 2 buildings – a nightclub and indoor theme park – the client required a design with no windows, yet one that still integrated with the other buildings in the complex.

The design achieves this by projecting the façades of the surrounding buildings in the complex, which are ‘draped’ over the simple building forms and plazas like a shadow, and ‘imprinted’ as a relief pattern onto the façades. 

“By placing, as it were, surrounding buildings into the facades of our buildings and in the central plaza, we connect The Imprint with the neighbours,” says Winy Maas, principal and co-founder of MVRDV. “This ensures coherence. Paradise City is not a collection of individual objects such as Las Vegas, but a real city.”

In order to achieve the desired ‘imprint’ of the surrounding buildings, the façade of The Imprint is constructed of glass-fibre reinforced concrete panels. As many of the 3,869 panels are unique, the construction required moulds to be individually produced using MVRDV’s 3D modelling files from the design phase. Once installed, these panels were painted white in order to emphasise the relief in the design.

The golden spot is the project’s most obvious and attention-grabbing expressive element, even catching the eyes of passengers coming in to land at Incheon Airport. The golden colour is achieved simply, by using gold paint instead of white, and is reinforced by the lighting of the facades at night: while the majority of the façade is lit from below, the gold spot is highlighted from above.

“The virgin building has received a splash of gold. This makes it as if the entrance is also illuminated at night by a ray of sunlight,” says Maas. “Passengers in the incoming aircraft can already see this ‘sun’ from above the ocean, as a kind of welcome to South Korea.”

The entrances, where the façades are lifted like a curtain to reveal mirrored ceilings and glass media floors, exude a sense of the excitement happening inside. “Reflection and theatricality are therefore combined,” concludes Maas. “With our design, after the nightly escapades, a zen-like silence follows during the day, providing an almost literally reflective situation for the after parties. Giorgio de Chirico would have liked to paint it, I think.”

Architect: MVRDV
Principal-in-charge: 
Winy Maas & Jacob van Rijs
Partner: 
Wenchian Shi
Design Team: 
María López Calleja with Daehee Suk, Xiaoting Chen, Kyosuk Lee, Guang Ruey Tan, Stavros Gargaretas, Mafalda Rangel, and Dong Min Lee
Photography: 
Ossip van Duivenbode
Copyright: 
MVRDV 2018 – (Winy Maas, Jacob van Rijs, Nathalie de Vries) 

Partners

Co-Architect: GANSAM Architects & Partners, South Korea
Facade Consultant: 
VS-A Group Ltd
Panelization Consultant: 
WITHWORKS
GFRC: 
Techwall
Lighting Design: 
EON SLD
Lighting Consulting: 
L’Observatoire International