STRX ASSOCIATES WAS BORN AS A SMALL DESIGN COMPANY THAT, OVER THE YEARS, HAS BUILT AN IMPORTANT ARCHITECTURE TEAM, WITH PARTICULAR ATTENTION TOWARDS INTERIOR DESIGN. HOW DID THIS HAPPEN AND WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES OF HAVING SUCH A MULTI-TASKING TEAM?
After leading a design firm and executing numerous projects for the past 25 years, the thirst for branching out to other areas grew bigger. It frustrated us when we had to interior design a poorly planned building. Witnessing so many cheap and fast-paced constructions made us think that there must be others like us who was in need for carefully and meticulously designed spaces. That is when we decided to plan, design, execute, and put the project out in the world ourselves. And since the whole process is now handled by our internal teams, we are able to keep the initial designing intentions and the responsibility of each sector is clear, leading to a higher level of completion.
Upper House in Seoul, an exclusive residential project in which Arclinea has created, in the 19 living units, unique kitchen areas by using different combinations of the Italia, Convivium and Principia models and a more focused use of the differentiating elements of the Collection.
In the design solution of this living unit, in the foreground the wood panelling in Fossil Oak with the horizontal opening doors of the Modus System that becomes a filter between the kitchen area, created in the internal space, and the living area of the house.
Behind the partition made of Modus doors, a live-in kitchen area using Italia elements. Luminous and material matches: lacquered white doors, Neolithic Calacatta Silk for the worktop and back panels of the operational area, and convivial peninsula, steel for the interior of the snack area, detail of the Italia integrated handle and Mensolinea, the Arclinea functional shelf housing 3000K LED lighting, power sockets, sliding wooden accessories hooked onto the cooking utensil rail.
TELL US ABOUT THE UPPERHOUSE IV CHEONGDAM PARK PROJECT. HOW WAS IS BORN? WHAT WERE THE OBJECTIVES? HOW WERE THE PARTNERS FOR THE SUPPLY SELECTED?
There are many big and expensive houses around us but they are not always the good ones. They have excellent views, are located near schools, have easy access, but are expensive regardless of the quality of their contents.
We believed that with the right plan, customized design, and perfect execution, we could change the world’s standardized rules. We wanted to prove that even without the best location nor the best environment we could achieve the best result. And thankfully, even outside the traditional wealthy neighborhoods, by thinking outside the box and creative design, our projects obtained successful outcomes. The way we choose our partners is based on if they have the same mindset as us. We want to work with companies that can build our designs to reflect us. Fortunately, such partners are gathering around us.
Project: STRX Associates
Photo: Jaeyun Kim
Videoclip: Andy Oh
Videoclip music: Fully Bold
THE COLLABORATION WITH ARCLINEA CONTINUES ON THE UPPER HOUSE NAMSAN EXHIBIT HALL’S “ONLY INVITED” INSTALLATION. COULD YOU TELL US MORE ABOUT THIS PROJECT?
Upper House Namsan stood for over 50 years as the Namsan Gymnasium. This gymnasium was one of Namsan’s most symbolic facility so it is a very meaningful place to the people there. Since Seoul Urban Planning’s implementation, raising new buildings in the area is prohibited, so the Upper House had to be dealt as a remodeling project. It had to be projected inside the range of an already existing architecture. As a result, we got 20 units that are all unique in size and layout. Because of that, they look and work more like independent houses than a single apartment. Making mock-ups lost its meaning because all of the units were different, so we decided to focus more on the “ambience” of spaces rather than the actual house itself. “This is what you will feel when you live here” was what we preferred to present to the clients. We focused in bringing in the view of the city skyline and greenery of the park from the South and the famous forest of Namsan from the North into the space.
WHAT ARE THE ASPECTS THAT LED YOU TO CHOOSE ARCLINEA FOR THIS PROJECT?
We think that Arclinea is an extremely design-oriented company. Like us, not only projects are customized to meet the needs of the clients, but it’s also clear when seeing the final product that the attention to the minimal details is something considered very important. Arclinea’s ceaseless effort in creating new designs and techniques impresses us greatly. We also can’t leave out the members of Arclinea who always do their best to solve our difficult demands. They are one of the big reasons for our preference.
Photo: Jang Mi