Whenever I go I love to hand around cool places ..and cool people. As the last stop of the 5 countires business trip (Germany,Italy,Japan,China and Korea), I get half a day to visit a few cool places. Seoul is not Paris or London, but I still manage to find a few unique places to do some work. This is aA Design Musem/Cafe, and it is a must see in Seoul, you need places like this to remind you there is life beyond concrete buildings.
It is not so easy to find but it is worth the trouble. It is located in a side street between HAPJEONG and HONGDAE, you will see an old three storied building and go up stairs you will see the entrance. Everywhere is full of chairs and I love chairs and I have collected a few dozens over the years, but this guy the owner is a chair lunatic. You can practically find any chairs you can imagine (except the electric one) from different periods from modern vintage to modern Bauhaus to Scandinavian and art nouveau.
The café is nice with both small tables and a few communal tables and there is a parquet floor (like a raised ‘study area’ in a library) for people to sit and work with their laptops and provides the best view of the entrance and main seating area below. The café floor is a cavernous, double height room with exposed cement walls; there is also an outdoor space that is roughly half the size of the ground level and covered with a solid canopy.
The place is not busy, I am not sure becaue I was visiting in a Monday or because the museum hasn't yet opened. Their plan is to have shop, bookstore and exhibition space. This is no Dean and Deluca, this is one of the coolest cafés I’ve seen in the world, yes I’ve seen many. The menu is small but good enough.
This is not a place that wants to be famous for its food. The basement will be used for the museum space, which won’t open until June 2011. The curator Jung Kyung Suh gave me a quick tour and it is a treasure room, everywhere scattered with funky furniture pieces and there is a giant hanging shark in the middle of the space. Unfortunately it was dark there so I couldn’t take more photos.
This will be my hang out place in Seoul just as Ace in New York. My social space is getting smaller and smaller, we’re talking about a dozen of places in major cities. What do I care, as long as there is Facebook.