stories from seoul: genesis designs electrifying concept cars to starchitect showrooms

stories from seoul: genesis designs electrifying concept cars to starchitect showrooms

Although a newcomer on the road – only founded in 2015 by Hyundai Motor Group – Genesis has become a frontrunner for automotive design. In between the electrifying concept cars through to starchitect-designed showrooms, the production models crown artfully crafted experiences from styling to customer delivery and then driving performance. designboom visited its HQ in Seoul, South Korea, to delve deeper into Genesis’ design, the mix of heritage and contemporary, and how luxury does not necessarily mean lavish.

stories from seoul: genesis designs electrifying concept cars to starchitect showrooms
traditional homes are commonplace in Bukchon Hanok Village, pictured with the N Seoul Tower in the background here

all images © designboom

 

 

The Genesis G90 is a flagship for the latest of luxury, performance and design for the brand, but also Korean heritage. Cruising through the Bukchon Hanok Village in Seoul, it becomes apparent how traditional Korean architecture has influenced the manufacturer’s top model and its cars below, both in the exterior and interior designs.

stories from seoul: genesis designs electrifying concept cars to starchitect showrooms
together with genesis, designboom visited the home of Mark Tetto in Seoul

 

 

Hanoks are traditional Korean homes, nestled in communities almost on top of one other. Each with a small U- or L-shaped courtyard, windows on both sides of the houses embrace nature. They frame surroundings so that inhabitants – even as we experienced inside Mark Tetto’s home in the middle of Seoul – feel as if situated in the landscape. It encapsulates the idea of ‘borrowed view’ where everything one can see from the hanok is part of its garden.

stories from seoul: genesis designs electrifying concept cars to starchitect showrooms
hanoks are traditional Korean homes, nestled in communities almost on top of one other

 

 

The idea of ‘borrowed view’ translates into the actual forms of the Genesis cars, such as the framing of the windows and the rooflines that mirror the undulating hills that roll across Korea. The concept also gives meaning to the otherwise contradictory principle of luxurious minimalism. Korean minimalism is not Less is More, rather Nothing is Something.

stories from seoul: genesis designs electrifying concept cars to starchitect showrooms
the idea of ‘borrowed view’ conceptualizes how everything one can see from the hanok is part of its garden

 

 

Genesis believes in the beauty of white space, where this emptiness has its own existence – a calming beauty. The GV60 – the brand’s first dedicated electric vehicle – exemplifies this luxury. Like a hanok, its spaciousness is accentuated with specific, highly crafted details that layers character. This includes the crystal-sphere central control, tactile upholstery, and jewel-like buttons to name but a few.

stories from seoul: genesis designs electrifying concept cars to starchitect showrooms
the architecture embraces nature with windows and doors that open to a small U- or L-shaped courtyard

 

 

A hanok’s overlapping wooden construction is perfectly imperfect. Timbers are left with a natural line that changes and grows in personality over time. The results are intricate and unique. Although highly precise in comparison, Genesis’ designers do also favor curves over straight lines – just look at the sloped form of the X Concept. The traditional home’s flooring – its wooden panelling and hot steam system – has inspired a new heating floor feature for the G90, for instance.

stories from seoul: genesis designs electrifying concept cars to starchitect showrooms
the beauty of white space shows Korean minimalism as accentuated with specific, highly crafted and characterful details

 

 

The balance of old and new is most apparent in Genesis’ showrooms, especially in terms of architecture. Many of these are starchitect-designed, such as OMA / AMO and Suh Architects. The newest building – the Sugi showroom – references the perfect imperfection of hanoks as they age. The contemporary box’s copper exterior rusts over time to evolve with its ‘borrowed view’.

stories from seoul: genesis designs electrifying concept cars to starchitect showrooms
the Sugi showroom features a vending machine-like tower (right) that displays the whole portfolio for customers

 

 

Like the façade outside, everything inside the showroom is curated like a piece of art. Immediately welcoming visitors, the flagship G90 sits at the center of the concrete and glass Vision Hall as if the one detail in the white space. To the side, a vending machine-like tower conveyors the portfolio so customers can see the different models at choice in the Hall. It is an art piece in its own right, proudly displaying each car available.

stories from seoul: genesis designs electrifying concept cars to starchitect showrooms
the architecture’s copper exterior rusts over time to evolve with its ‘borrowed view’, like a hanok

 

 

Ascending the tower, each upper floor is dedicated to showcasing a specific model category: SUVs, sedans and EVs. But the real moment of magic is the delivery room. Customers are chauffeured to this private area where their new car is given a theatrical final check before the red carpet is rolled out and they can drive it home. The reveal is the Korean brand’s final contemporization of the age-old hand-over ceremony. It send customers cruising away with a highly technical performing car, crafted in a modern interpretation of Korean design, but with conscious luxury.

genesis-design-concept-car-showroom-seoul-designboom07

the Genesis G90 sits at the center of the Vision Hall as if the one detail in the white space

stories from seoul: genesis designs electrifying concept cars to starchitect showrooms
each upper floor is dedicated to showcasing a specific model category, where SUVs, sedans or EVs

genesis-design-concept-car-showroom-seoul-designboom08

the Genesis G90 is a flagship for the latest of luxury, performance and design as well as Korean heritage

stories from seoul: genesis designs electrifying concept cars to starchitect showrooms
the new showroom reflects the conscious luxury of the hyundai motor group sub-division

 

 

brand info:

 

brand: Genesis

group: Hyundai Motor Group

location: Seoul, South Korea

hanok owner: Mark Tetto

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