Christian Lahoude Plants a Ginseng-Inspired Concept Store for Sulwhasoo in China

LOCATION Guangzhou
FIRM Christian Lahoude Studio
SQ. FT. 970 SQF

Korean beauty brand Sulwhasoo follows up its Seoul flagship—which just happened to win our Best of Year Award in 2016, with an entirely new concept store designed by Christian Lahoude Studio. The first iteration has just opened in Guangzhou, China, with future locations on the boards for Malaysia, Seoul, and New York’s Bloomingdales.

The facade utilizes a dark slate, punctuated by a light reveal. Photography by Stefan Irvine.

For inspiration, Lahoude looked to ginseng, a key ingredient used in Sulwhasoo’s beauty products. Flooring for the 970-square-foot space is a deep slate, a nod to the dark roots of the ginseng plant, while its golden interior is referenced in the yellow travertine used to lighten up counseling areas, as well as the burnished brass and gold leaf covering walls and displays throughout the store. 

Custom chairs are covered in amber leather and wool with a polished brass base. The custom table is also brass, with back-painted frosted glass that is backlight for product display. Photography by Stefan Irvine.

“The biggest challenge we faced was a column intersecting the center of the store,” notes Christian Lahoude. “We were able to create one of the most interesting areas of the space by wrapping the column in product display.” 

Finishing touches were added in the form of custom chandeliers, with handmade petals of frosted and clear glass with delicate flowers that bring to mind both the ginseng blossom and Sulwhasoo’s iconic Snow Flower. 

Best sellers are featured on backlit shelves attached to laser-cut sheet metal; luxury products are displayed on glass shelving with edges of gold leaf. Photography by Stefan Irvine.
Freestanding fixtures resemble concrete and dark slate in lightweight laminate, with amber trims. Photography by Stefan Irvine.
A private counseling area nestles amber leather and wool seating beneath a gold-leaf mirror and a smaller version of the flower chandelier. Photography by Stefan Irvine.
Window displays are dark slate laminate, brass sheet metal, and opalescent acrylic. Photography by Stefan Irvine.