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The Galleria in Gwanggyo

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South Korea has been among the national headliners when it comes to Covid-19, but the stringent measures enacted to combat it appear to have worked and in the interim, some commercial life has continued.

Now, those living in the country’s capital can take a trip to Gwanggyo, about 25km to the south, to admire an astonishing new department store that has just opened. Created by Rotterdam-based OMA, the Galleria in Gwanggyo is intended to look as if it were carved from a single piece of rock with a tessellated glass thread winding across its fascia from bottom to top.

This is in fact a textured stone mosaic exterior and those entering the store can follow the glass corridor, taking them on a journey through retail spaces and ‘cultural’ exhibits. The trip comes to an end when the top of the building is reached, where there is a roof garden.

Gwanggyo is a new town and the Galleria shows perhaps that there is hope, even at a moment when the global picture is dark.