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Lighting the Way: A Journey through SOMA Lounge's Urban Cave

Images: Kiwoong Hong
Images: Kiwoong Hong

SOMA Lounge Office emerges as a hidden gem, an underground paradise in the heart of a concrete jungle, nestled among the towering towers of Teheran-ro, Seoul. Enclosed by walls and devoid of windows, the initial impression is that of a dimly lit cavern, an urban cave yearning for warmth. The genius lies in the transformation of this seemingly cold and cramped space into a cozy haven, achieved by strategically harnessing the power of 'light.'

The thoughtful spatial design by BYO Studio ensures that functionality takes center stage. Purposeful division of spaces caters to diverse needs, offering flexibility in encounters. Private spaces, intelligently tucked away from the central hub, mitigate eye conflict and prioritize functionality. The removal of unnecessary decorative elements in favor of curved masses fosters a soft and comfortable atmosphere, seamlessly connecting the flow of movement and gaze.

The philosophy behind SOMA Lounge revolves around the versatility of light itself, eschewing the need for complex structural changes. The introduction of 'cave lights,' strategically placed throughout the space, employs an integrated RGB lighting system capable of color control. This not only transcends the limitations of natural light but also crafts an immersive environment that evolves with the passage of time. The play of light against the red-hued walls, the softly luminous floor, and the smooth ceiling creates a dynamic atmosphere, adapting seamlessly to various events.

Addressing the absence of natural light, an ingenious solution unfolds a digital window embedded into the wall. This technological marvel, featuring video content and nature sounds. It also transforms the space into a realm where the boundary between artifact and nature blurs. Users, free to explore this simulated natural world, find the space evolving into a medium that encourages closer interaction.


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