Contract - HyundaiCard Air Lounge

design - features - retail design



HyundaiCard Air Lounge

12 November, 2012

-By Sam Lubell


Once upon a time air travel was a pleasure and a privilege. That time has long since passed. Now going to the airport is about as stressful and uncomfortable as visiting the dentist. While brainstorming for the design of the HyundaiCard Air Lounge at the Incheon International Airport, near Seoul, South Korea, Gensler wanted to create the antithesis of that experience: a relaxing, helpful place that would become a respite for travelers. But since the lounge was located in front of baggage claim, the designers faced the challenge of providing amenities and enlivening the experience to draw travelers who might otherwise keep moving. The result is a striking, futuristic, efficiently organized space that is a mix between a high-end boutique, a grown-up play land, and a spa.

“It couldn’t be the typical air lounge, where it’s a sea of couches and not much going on besides eating and reading the paper,” explains Gensler Design Director and Senior Associate Philippe Paré.

Planning a compact space within the larger context
Because the 2,700-square-foot space is so small, and cut off from natural light, Paré and his team from Gensler’s Los Angeles office focused not just on excitement and comfort but on flow, organization, and ways to make the space feel bigger. The organization, which Paré likens to that of a well-packed suitcase, is a simple, fluid layout consisting of a reception in the front with the bulk of the program inside a long bar-shaped structure in the center, and VIP lounges in the back. To visually augment the space, the firm installed highly reflective surface materials such as white gypsum board on walls, high-gloss painted metal on ceilings, and white terrazzo for the floors. Minimal design makes the space feel bigger and calmer—not to mention timeless—while recessed lighting coves above produce ethereal, soft halos that enable guests to feel like they’re aboard a cruising ship as opposed to a traveler about to be packed into a sardine can.

The lounge’s dominating element is the large black rectangle that runs perpendicular to the simple welcome desk. The polished black granite box punches through the lounge’s metal ceiling, appearing to float in space and increasing its sense of dominance and mystery.

Cut by chambers running through it and niches slicing into its sides, the black mass contains, among other things, a concierge, travel accessories, printed materials, food and refreshment stations, and a business center with computers. It even features video installations by noted Japanese artist Hiraki Sawa and a robotic vending machine that dispenses gifts for HyundaiCard holders. To help with the lack of natural light in this part of the airport, the firm installed virtual skylights above two of the chambers that are actually LED screens that cycle through the spectrum of sky colors to match what’s going on outside.

Thinking inside the black box
The black volume’s design, says Paré, was inspired by unusual sources: the black HyundaiCard itself, whose elite members access the space; the black box of an airplane; and even the monolithic computer HAL 9000 from 2001: A Space Odyssey. All this high-tech drama creates a poetic quality for a space that could otherwise have been mundane.

Beyond the slab and past sheer curtains blocking out the terminal traffic, a VIP lounge allows guests to perch inside spherical Ball Chairs that shield them from their surroundings. Fifteen colorful, bar-shaped LCD screens, loosely evocative of the old tickers inside train stations, display individual flight information and flash when flights are getting close to departure.

A winner of a 2012 American Institute of Architects (AIA) Institute Honor Award for Interior Architecture, the project earned jury praise such as, “The project takes an innovative approach to the airline lounge model, effectively establishing a unique relationship between the passenger and the space. The well-conceived assimilation of technology engages the traveler in both the ‘black box’ and the surrounding walls that integrate the helpful passenger flight status flip-screens.”

Don’t let this combination of simplicity, futurism, and fun fool you: this is an unexpectedly powerful project that is the perfect antidote to the airport outside.


Key Design Highlights
  • To make the most of a tight space, the design team applied a simple, fluid layout of reception in the front, the bulk of activities in the center, and a VIP lounge in the back.
  • Highly reflective surface materials such as white gypsum board, high-gloss painted metal, and white terrazzo help to visually maximize space.
  • Gensler implemented a polished black granite box to delineate the central program zone that houses the concierge, travel accessories, printed materials, food and refreshment stations, and a business center with computers.
  • Virtual skylights provide sky-simulating LED illumination for this daylight-challenged space.


HyundaiCard Air Lounge
Designer Gensler
Client HyundaiCard
Where Incheon, South Korea
What 2,700 square feet on one floor within Incheon International Airport
Cost/sf Withheld at client’s request


SOURCES

Interior designer: Gensler.
Interior design project team: Phillippe Paré, AIA, design director; Neil McLean, AIA, project manager; Jaimelynn Shah, job captain; Lynn Kubin, color & materials specialist; Dominick Ricci, senior graphic designer; Sarah Gibbons, project coordinator.
Contractor: Kesson International.
Consultants: Kaplan Gehring McCarroll (lighting); Kesson International (engineering); Laschober + Sovitch (kitchen); Gensler (graphics).
Architect of Record: Spackman Associates.
Retail experience: Ito Partnership.
Audio/Visual: Veneklasen Associates.
Art: James Cohan Gallery.

Paint: Dunn Edwards.
Laminate: Formica.
Walls: USG (dry).
Flooring: custom (terrazzo); granite (stone); Tai Ping (carpet).
Ceiling: Custom metal panels.
Interior lighting: Color Kinetics (cove); Sistemalux (in-grade); USA Illumination (recessed); XAL (floor/table lamps).
Doors: custom; FSB (hardware).
Architectural glass/glazing: Pilkington.
Window treatments:
Silent Gliss.
Seating: Adelta (lounge/reception); Bernhardt (lounge/reception); Cassina (lounge/reception); Herman Miller (workstation/task); Vitra (workstation/task).
Upholstery: Carnegie; Maharam; Spinneybeck.
Tables: B&B Italia (side); Chris Lehrecke Furniture (side); custom (reception); Ligne Roset (side).
Storage systems: custom (shelving, lockers/cubbies, drawers/case goods).
Architectural/custom woodworking: Kesson International.
Signage: Kesson International.




HyundaiCard Air Lounge

12 November, 2012


Ryan Gobuty/Gensler

Once upon a time air travel was a pleasure and a privilege. That time has long since passed. Now going to the airport is about as stressful and uncomfortable as visiting the dentist. While brainstorming for the design of the HyundaiCard Air Lounge at the Incheon International Airport, near Seoul, South Korea, Gensler wanted to create the antithesis of that experience: a relaxing, helpful place that would become a respite for travelers. But since the lounge was located in front of baggage claim, the designers faced the challenge of providing amenities and enlivening the experience to draw travelers who might otherwise keep moving. The result is a striking, futuristic, efficiently organized space that is a mix between a high-end boutique, a grown-up play land, and a spa.

“It couldn’t be the typical air lounge, where it’s a sea of couches and not much going on besides eating and reading the paper,” explains Gensler Design Director and Senior Associate Philippe Paré.

Planning a compact space within the larger context
Because the 2,700-square-foot space is so small, and cut off from natural light, Paré and his team from Gensler’s Los Angeles office focused not just on excitement and comfort but on flow, organization, and ways to make the space feel bigger. The organization, which Paré likens to that of a well-packed suitcase, is a simple, fluid layout consisting of a reception in the front with the bulk of the program inside a long bar-shaped structure in the center, and VIP lounges in the back. To visually augment the space, the firm installed highly reflective surface materials such as white gypsum board on walls, high-gloss painted metal on ceilings, and white terrazzo for the floors. Minimal design makes the space feel bigger and calmer—not to mention timeless—while recessed lighting coves above produce ethereal, soft halos that enable guests to feel like they’re aboard a cruising ship as opposed to a traveler about to be packed into a sardine can.

The lounge’s dominating element is the large black rectangle that runs perpendicular to the simple welcome desk. The polished black granite box punches through the lounge’s metal ceiling, appearing to float in space and increasing its sense of dominance and mystery.

Cut by chambers running through it and niches slicing into its sides, the black mass contains, among other things, a concierge, travel accessories, printed materials, food and refreshment stations, and a business center with computers. It even features video installations by noted Japanese artist Hiraki Sawa and a robotic vending machine that dispenses gifts for HyundaiCard holders. To help with the lack of natural light in this part of the airport, the firm installed virtual skylights above two of the chambers that are actually LED screens that cycle through the spectrum of sky colors to match what’s going on outside.

Thinking inside the black box
The black volume’s design, says Paré, was inspired by unusual sources: the black HyundaiCard itself, whose elite members access the space; the black box of an airplane; and even the monolithic computer HAL 9000 from 2001: A Space Odyssey. All this high-tech drama creates a poetic quality for a space that could otherwise have been mundane.

Beyond the slab and past sheer curtains blocking out the terminal traffic, a VIP lounge allows guests to perch inside spherical Ball Chairs that shield them from their surroundings. Fifteen colorful, bar-shaped LCD screens, loosely evocative of the old tickers inside train stations, display individual flight information and flash when flights are getting close to departure.

A winner of a 2012 American Institute of Architects (AIA) Institute Honor Award for Interior Architecture, the project earned jury praise such as, “The project takes an innovative approach to the airline lounge model, effectively establishing a unique relationship between the passenger and the space. The well-conceived assimilation of technology engages the traveler in both the ‘black box’ and the surrounding walls that integrate the helpful passenger flight status flip-screens.”

Don’t let this combination of simplicity, futurism, and fun fool you: this is an unexpectedly powerful project that is the perfect antidote to the airport outside.


Key Design Highlights
  • To make the most of a tight space, the design team applied a simple, fluid layout of reception in the front, the bulk of activities in the center, and a VIP lounge in the back.
  • Highly reflective surface materials such as white gypsum board, high-gloss painted metal, and white terrazzo help to visually maximize space.
  • Gensler implemented a polished black granite box to delineate the central program zone that houses the concierge, travel accessories, printed materials, food and refreshment stations, and a business center with computers.
  • Virtual skylights provide sky-simulating LED illumination for this daylight-challenged space.


HyundaiCard Air Lounge
Designer Gensler
Client HyundaiCard
Where Incheon, South Korea
What 2,700 square feet on one floor within Incheon International Airport
Cost/sf Withheld at client’s request


SOURCES

Interior designer: Gensler.
Interior design project team: Phillippe Paré, AIA, design director; Neil McLean, AIA, project manager; Jaimelynn Shah, job captain; Lynn Kubin, color & materials specialist; Dominick Ricci, senior graphic designer; Sarah Gibbons, project coordinator.
Contractor: Kesson International.
Consultants: Kaplan Gehring McCarroll (lighting); Kesson International (engineering); Laschober + Sovitch (kitchen); Gensler (graphics).
Architect of Record: Spackman Associates.
Retail experience: Ito Partnership.
Audio/Visual: Veneklasen Associates.
Art: James Cohan Gallery.

Paint: Dunn Edwards.
Laminate: Formica.
Walls: USG (dry).
Flooring: custom (terrazzo); granite (stone); Tai Ping (carpet).
Ceiling: Custom metal panels.
Interior lighting: Color Kinetics (cove); Sistemalux (in-grade); USA Illumination (recessed); XAL (floor/table lamps).
Doors: custom; FSB (hardware).
Architectural glass/glazing: Pilkington.
Window treatments:
Silent Gliss.
Seating: Adelta (lounge/reception); Bernhardt (lounge/reception); Cassina (lounge/reception); Herman Miller (workstation/task); Vitra (workstation/task).
Upholstery: Carnegie; Maharam; Spinneybeck.
Tables: B&B Italia (side); Chris Lehrecke Furniture (side); custom (reception); Ligne Roset (side).
Storage systems: custom (shelving, lockers/cubbies, drawers/case goods).
Architectural/custom woodworking: Kesson International.
Signage: Kesson International.

 


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