Starfield COEX Library, Seoul, Korea, project: Gensler
Porcelain stoneware wood-effect by Marca Corona for a contemporary temple of culture
Covering an area of approximately 154,000 m², Starfield Coex Mall in the business district of Gangnam, Seoul, is Asia’s biggest underground shopping mall. The complex, which hosted the G20 in 2010, has changed considerably down the years, going through a series of ups and downs that have led to its current modernisation.
The project, designed by the Gensler firm, has injected fresh impetus into the entire construction, rearranging its paths and corridors, creating new congregation points and opening up the spaces to natural light. A prestigious library, the Starfield COEX Library, stands right in the middle of this underground mega-structure covered by an all-glass roof.
The result of a $5 million investment by the Korean group Shinsegae that owns the place, Starfield COEX Library is an authentic shrine to culture and knowledge. In 28,000 m² of space spread across two floors, 4 imposing 13-metre-high columns-bookcases have been constructed near its four cardinal points to hold a total of 50,000 books, as well as over 600,000 magazines and journals.
The space is very carefully designed to accommodate everything from areas for reading, giving presentations and holding conferences. All the furniture and chairs have also been meticulously selected. The atmosphere is smooth-flowing, calm and brightly lit, brought out even further by the floor made of enamel tiles from Marca Corona’s Prestige range.
The wood-effect surfaces made from natural essences that look just like real wooden panels make the library even more welcoming by conveying a sense of both cosy and, at the same time, casual elegance. The Prestige collection combines the authenticity of wood with the formidable technical properties of enamel tiles.
The elegance of the colour scheme, featuring various different shades of natural wood, furnishes the setting with a sense of naturalness and warmth on both the inside and outside in a very cutting-edge design.
Prestige also allows you to choose from three different formats, so that any space can be composed in absolute freedom: 15x90, the new 25x150 format and the textured finish in a 22.5x90 format that allows the creation of wonderful-looking exteriors offering superior performance in terms of durability and safety.