moon hoon manipulates a stack of 'buckets' for sesame oil HQ in seoul

moon hoon
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korean architect moon hoon has completed a building in seoul’s historic center, which serves as the headquarters of a sesame oil company.

surrounded by other properties of various sizes, the complex site is located in a quiet neighborhood near dongdaemun market — an area that also hosts the zaha hadid-designed ‘DDP cultural multiplex‘.‘when I was serving as a rookie private in the korean army I made a good friend with a sergeant who was very kind and open minded,’ explains moon hoon, who designed the project alongside moohoi. ‘we ran into each other few years ago on the street near my home and was informed that he had started a sesame oil business which was based on a new approach. to my surprise, in 2017, he visited my office and commissioned a headquarter building for his business, which included a flagship store and a factory.’

as the business is called queens bucket, moon hoon designed a series of stacked bucket-shaped volumes that reached the building’s height limit. the form was then manipulated in order to maximize floor space, allow natural light to enter, and comply with building codes. two underground floors are used for storage and as lounge area for casual talks and meetings. meanwhile a freight elevator connects the lower levels to the storeys above.

the high-ceilinged ground floor serves as the company’s flagship store, while a mezzanine level functions as a showroom. ‘the micro flagship shop exhibits many golden sesame products which are stacked vertically like little golden buddhas in some korean buddhist temples,’ moon hoon explains. the next two storeys are factories for the manufacturing of sesame oil, while the fourth floor features a large angled window where a bakery kitchen is situated.

at the uppermost level, a rooftop has a small bar table and stools where rooftop gatherings can take place. ‘the micro building is very dense like a microchip, every part and corner and ledges are utilized for best spatial usage,’ says the design team. ‘the large entrance doors in the corner of first floor are remotely and mechanically controlled. you can clap or shout ‘open sesame’ for it to open. but of course, you will only know the truth when you actually visit the building…’

project info:

name: queens bucket company building

architect: moon hoon + moohoi

project team: kim jae-kwan, park jung-wook, jo gun-young, park ki-bum

location: 5-6, toegye-ro 64-gil, jung-gu, seoul, republic of korea

program: manufacturing store (sesame oil), office

site area: 76 sqm (22.99py)

building area: 33.64 sqm (10.18py)

gross floor area: 181.55 sqm (54.92py)

building to land ratio: 48.12%

floor area ratio: 188.18%

building scope: 2BF – 4F

structure: RC structure

exterior finish: exposed concrete finish

interior finish: miicrete finish, epoxy finish

structure engineering: SDM

construction: sung-an

mechanical/electrical engineering: chung-hyo

design period: 2018. 3 – 2018. 6

construction period: 2018. 6 – 2019. 4

client: queens bucket (CEO : park jung-yong)

moon hoon manipulates a stack of 'buckets' for sesame oil HQ in seoul