MVRDV‘s The Imprint is part of the larger Paradise City complex of 6 buildings in total, which will provide a full suite of entertainment and hotel attractions, situated less than a kilometre away from South Korea‘s largest airport.

Given the proposed programme of the 2 buildings – a nightclub and indoor theme park – the client required a design with no windows, yet one that still integrated with the other buildings in the complex. Therefore, the design of The Imprint arises from a simple question: Can we design an expressive façade that connects with its surroundings even though it has no windows?

MVRDV projected the façades of the surrounding buildings in the complex, which are ‘draped’ over the simple building forms and plazas like a shadow, and ‘imprinted’ as a relief pattern onto the façades. “By placing, as it were, surrounding buildings into the facades of our buildings and in the central plaza, we connect The Imprint with the neighbours,” says Winy Maas, principal and co-founder of MVRDV. “This ensures coherence. Paradise City is not a collection of individual objects such as Las Vegas, but a real city.”

The façade is constructed from glass-fibre reinforced concrete panels. Since many of the 3,869 panels are unique, the construction required moulds to be individually produced using MVRDV’s 3D modelling files created during the design phase. Once installed, these panels were painted white in order to emphasise the relief in the design.

The golden spot is the project’s most obvious and attention-grabbing expressive element. The colour is achieved by simply using gold paint instead of white, and is reinforced by the lighting of the facades at night: while the majority of the façade is lit from below, the gold spot is highlighted from above.

The entrances, where the façades are lifted like a curtain to reveal mirrored ceilings and glass media floors, exude a sense of the excitement happening inside. “Reflection and theatricality are therefore combined,” concludes Maas.


Related: Jaw-dropping Crystal Facade of CHANEL Amsterdam Flagship by MVRDV.


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[Images courtesy of MVRDV. Photography by Ossip van Duivenbode.]


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