Rearth Inc. Headquarters - Bucheon (South Korea)

A punctuated façade

Rearth Inc., a leading Korean distributor of smartphone accessories, opened in Bucheon its new headquarters
Katrin Cosseta
Narsilion Photography
Bong Ki Choi
Year of completion

Bucheon is a satellite city of Seoul and the second most densely populated urban area in South Korea. It is here that Rearth Inc., a leading Korean distributor of smartphone accessories, recently opened its new headquarters. The building, designed by Bong Ki Choi — Lead Urban Architects & Planners, stands out from the anonymous surrounding landscape of low, heterogeneous buildings for the monolithic impact of its volume facing onto the street. The building has a regular parallelepiped shape without any special architectural features, a pure white volume punctuated by glazed sections. However, its contemporary language and expressive power emerges forcefully in the design of the envelope. The façade is clad entirely by ultra-thin ceramic panels in a 100×300 cm size from Cotto d’Este, chosen from the Black-White Kerlite 5plus collection in an Ultrawhite finish. These homogeneous hi-tech surfaces with their clean aesthetics, small thicknesses and large sizes coupled with the elasticity and strength typical of porcelain contrast with the glazed areas in a graphic play of transparencies and alternating solids and voids. An orthogonal geometric pattern based on an «orderly irregularity» infuses a sense of rhythm into the building façade and alleviates its visual impact. Windows of the same height but different widths alternate with narrow slit-like openings and large horizontal glazed sections that break up the vertical tension of the composition. A few small corner loggias have been created in what appears to be a process of subtraction. An entire glazed corner of the volume seems to melt away, exposing the structure of the staircase and its diagonal ramps, the sole departure from the rigorous orthogonality maintained by the building as a whole. The resultant volume, like a Mondrian painting, expresses an apparent simplicity and an intriguing rhythmic cadence that becomes even more vivid for an observer driving along the main road in front of the building.

Cotto d'Este, Black-White Kerlite 5plus
porcelain stoneware
100x300 cm
Technical characteristics
Water absorpion (ISO 10545-3): 0,05 %
Chemical resistance (ISO 10545-13): ULA-UHA
Resistance to deep abrasion (ISO 10545-6): 145 mm3
Stain resistance (ISO 10545-14): compliant
Frost resistance (ISO 10545-12): compliant
Modulus of rupture and breaking strength (ISO 10545-4): compliant
Slip resistance (DIN 51130): compliant
Thermal shock resistance (ISO 10545-9): compliant
Crazing resistance (ISO 10545-11): compliant
Linear thermal expansion (ISO 10545-8): compliant
Certifications and awards
ISO 14001
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