Welcome to Dispatch From Korea, a series where you’ll get the inside scoop on the latest K-beauty news straight from our friends at Soko Glam’s Seoul office. Recently, they had the chance to get a behind-the-scenes tour of Amorepacific’s impressive new headquarters a.k.a. skin care heaven.
When we heard that Amorepacific Group, Korea’s largest beauty company, had opened a stunning, new global headquarters last year in Seoul, we knew we had to visit.
With a 74-year reputation as a leading innovator in Korean beauty, the company put the same amount of thoughtful design into the new structure which, in addition to being their headquarters and workhub for 3,500 Amorepacific employees, is a cultural space for the community.
This spring, members of the Soko Glam Seoul office headed over to Yongsan, the neighborhood Amorepacific has called home since 1956, for a behind-the-scenes look at the new HQ.
The new HQ building stands out in the neighborhood for its unique design. The striking building is shaped like a large cube, with open spaces on three sides to allow natural light to pour in. With 22 stories visible above ground and an additional seven stories below ground, it literally can’t be missed.
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Amorepacifc describes its new headquarters as a place of communication and creativity – a “Hall of Beauty” where collaboration can occur.
As we entered the main lobby to meet our tour guide Kelly, “Hall of Beauty,” definitely seemed an apt name for the space. A large, open, busy yet peaceful, atrium. Looking up, we could see sunlight shining down through water and glass.
As we began the tour we learned that the lobby we were standing in was dubbed the “cultural lobby,” a space where the community is welcome to visit and engage in regularly-changing events and exhibits.
On this floor is the Library of Art Project with a collection of exhibition catalogs from around the world, the Museum of Art Cabinet, which currently features an exhibit about the architecture and design of the new building, and O’SULLOC and O’SULLOC 1979 green tea cafes. Just one floor below is the Amorepacific Museum of Art that rotates impressive exhibits of traditional and contemporary arts.
Next, we rode the escalator to the second floor where Amorepacific’s Consumer Research Center is located. The center plays an important role in the development of new products. Customers are invited to visit the center to test and provide their valuable feedback on how they feel about products.
One of our favorite areas of the second floor was the archives, a treasure trove of Amorepacific memorabilia and historical information. I especially loved looking at the bright, hand-painted brand posters, copies of the Amorepacific magazine Hyangjang (향장) dating back to the 1950s, information about the longtime running Amore Counselor direct sales program Bang-pan(방판), and the anniversary air cushion display.
From here, we hopped a ride on the elevator with our guide to visit an area of the building only accessible to employees, the fifth floor Amore Gate roof garden. One of three gardens located within cut-outs in the building design, this particular garden is located in the heart of the building with the sky fully visible above.
In the center of the garden is a large, flat, water feature and we quickly realized that this water feature was also part of the ceiling of the first floor lobby and allowed light to shine through below.
The rooftop gardens were intentionally designed to provide a peaceful respite for employees, with fresh air and natural light. Green spaces with green-leaf maple trees pepper the garden and there’s ample sun and shade to make it enjoyable throughout the seasons.
Amorepacific understands its role as part of the larger neighborhood. A large office building takes up a lot of space and can be considered an eyesore. This is another reason why Amorepacific spent a full three and a half years designing their headquarters before an additional three and a half years of construction began. One example of the thoughtfulness put in the design of the building is LED artwork on the rooftop garden that is illuminated each evening to provide beauty in the community.
As we made our way back to the elevator we passed the bustling employee cafeteria and heard about the fitness center, massage service, and women’s lounge for pregnant and breastfeeding employees, as well as the daycare center located on floor 2 and available for children of employees.
Our final stop on the tour was the Amore Store, located on the 2nd floor. This is the only shop where you can experience all of Amorepacific’s brands and about 6,000 products in one location. Seeing all of the Amorepacific brands in one place creates a sense of awe at how extensive the products are and just how many of the most well-known K-beauty brands are a part of the Amorepacific family.
We, of course, made a beeline for the Etude House and Mamonde displays to see which products were available. As you may know, Soko Glam has been glad to partner with these two Amorepacific brands, first with Etude House beginning in 2016 and most recently with Mamonde beginning last year. We are so proud to curate products from these iconic K-beauty brands for our customers.
One thing that was apparent throughout the tour is that Amorepacific truly believes in their company values and their vision. Their headquarters exudes their devotion to their heritage, commitment to research, develop, and innovation, and unwavering appreciation of beauty in the world.
If you find yourself in Seoul, we highly recommend a visit to the Amorepacific global headquarters in Yongsan. Admission is free and guests are welcome. There is so much there for any K-beauty devotee to see, do, and appreciate.