Wood-effect porcelain tiles add real warmth  to Seoul’s impressive Starfield Library

Wood-effect porcelain tiles add real warmth to Seoul’s impressive Starfield Library

February 2019

Bibliophiles and design lovers alike will surely be impressed by the new Starfield Library located in the Starfield Coex Mall, Seoul.

Now one of the key attractions at Asia’s largest underground shopping centre, this expansive, 2,800 sq. metre space houses some 50,000 books and magazines, displayed across three impressive 13 metre tall bookcases.

This space is radiant 24 hours a day.  During the day, natural light pours in through floor-to-ceiling windows.  And, in the evening, the library is just as impressive as the shelves are illuminated.  This is far more than just a space for book-lovers.  It also offers a variety of monthly cultural events and performances, with different themes on a daily basis.

The Starfield Coex Mall carries national and international brands, and offers other attractions like an aquarium, a movie theatre, and the Kimchi Museum.  For the library, conceived as a contemporary temple of culture, the world-renowned Gensler Studio chose Prestige by Marca Corona; a wood-effect series inspired by the essential essence of natural oak.  In this high profile location, the Marca Corona tiles, in an elegant Brown shade and 225 by 900mm format, deliver a modern yet informal look that helps to put the visitors at ease.

The two-storey library, which is open to the public free of charge, anticipates a high volume of pedestrian traffic as it boasts Korea’s largest collection of magazines with over 600 different titles, including the latest editions and international magazines.

So practical considerations, including wear characteristics and ease of maintenance, were also important when it came to specifying Prestige as the floor covering.  Here the authenticity of wood stands out on surfaces that combine harmonious shades and excellent technical performance.  Prestige is a contemporary porcelain stoneware collection for indoor and outdoor spaces, featuring four natural colours.

Prestige floor and wall tiles give project planners the opportunity to use a natural finish, available in three different sizes,  to decorate any space with creative freedom.  The textured finish also enables landscape designers to create outdoor areas with impressive wear resistance and anti-slip properties.

Prestige is available in three different rectified sizes for creative freedom: 250 by 1,500mm, 225 by 900mm, and 150 by 900mm.  The textured finish, that ensures top quality performance even in outdoor applications, is available in 225 by 900mm; while the 20mm Hithick planks are available in 450 by 900mm, and 600 by 600mm.  Prestige is also available with a grip finish in the 20mm thick Hithick range; a safe, anti-slip solution for external applications.  There is also a choice of decors to create original patterns and an alluring style mix.

Prior to the addition of the library, the Coex Mall underwent a large-scale renovation in 2014.  Also designed by Gensler, this commission set out to create a vision for change centred around a concept called The Unfolding Sky.

With five uniquely-themed squares, the refurbished Coex Mall was designed to receive optimal amounts of natural light and optimize the flow of foot traffic.

The new library and mall recently showed just what can be achieved in modern retail environments when, prior to Christmas 2018, American artist Mike Stilkey created a striking destination artwork out of books.  This installation sat harmoniously in the book-filled hall and became something of a star on social media for its incredible looks.

Stilkey, known for works made using books, created this massive Christmas-themed installation, called the Starfield Book Tree, by piling more than 14,000 books into a stack nine metres high.  The images on the book tree featured happy animal families tobogganing down a hill; with Marca Corona’s Prestige tiles providing the perfect backdrop for Stilkey’s enticing creation.
W: www.coexmall.com
W: https://www.marcacorona.it/en

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