While the rest of Asia is slowly being rebuilt with modern, temperature-controlled malls, Seoul's ultrachic Ssamziegil shopping center thoughtfully merges old with new. Korean architectural firm Ga.A has paired with Baltimore- based Kroiz Architecture to create a cultural center that evokes a bamboo forest, with wooden louvers, a cobblestoned courtyard, and rich colors inspired by local herbs and fruits. The five-story space in Insa-Dong, the traditional neighborhood for artisans, houses mostly artist-owned shops where the focus is on craftsmanship—such as Jang Yong-Hoon's Paper Room and master glassblower Park Sung-Won's Biul. Ssamziegil, 38 Gwanhun-dong, Jongno-gu; 82-2/736-0088.
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