Humbert & Poyet Unveils the Decor of JOSUN Palace in Seoul

In the heart of Seoul, Humbert & Poyet agency has designed the interior architecture of the JOSUN Palace

For this ambitious project, Emil Humbert and Christophe Poyet have designed the communal areas, the bedrooms - including a Presidential Suite that looks like a luxurious Penthouse - a sky bar and two restaurants, one of which is Michelin-starred. With the desire to re-envision the 5-star palace, the designers express their taste for exquisite craftsmanship, exceptional savoir-faire, and art. Their furniture is also complemented by numerous bespoke pieces, such as the luminous brass sculpture that adorns the central staircase over nearly 36 floors. The interior architects have thus created a complete stylistic achievement, in the great tradition of French decorative arts.

On the ground floor, the lobby reveals a majestic décor composed of noble and precious materials. The walls are adorned with a black marble foundation, enhanced by white fluted panels that bring an elegant sobriety. The black and white marble floor features a graphic pattern designed by Humbert & Poyet. Meanwhile, the mirrored wall and ceiling create a treasure chest of fine jewellery in which the reception desk designed in green marble and brass is reflected.

The hotel is composed of 250 rooms and suites, as well as a Presidential Suite. Designed as both a place of intimacy and escape, each room has been made to measure; a dressing room, a hallway with dark lacquered walls - green, wood and aubergine - precedes the sleeping area where the colours are lighter. Plasterwork, fabrics, and mouldings adorn the walls as references to the French style reinterpreted by Humbert & Poyet. In the suites, the lounge area with its custom-designed bar offers the possibility to admire the bustling city below.

JOSUN Palace boasts two restaurants and a sky bar with panoramic views across Seoul. The Michelin-starred Korean restaurant seats 32 - 50 including the private areas. Boasting a fresh atmosphere, with a predominance of aqua-green, chalk and beige tones, this sense of lightness is immediately revealed upon entering the space with a floral decor evoking the blossoming of cherry trees in spring. Throughout the restaurant, the space is punctuated by suspended glass and brass screens, designed by Humbert & Poyet. These walls create intimacy around the tables while allowing for a play of transparency and light, while the lacquer and stucco work brings a lot of personality to the whole. The open kitchen is both imposing in its size and in its presence; it is made of materials that are cherished by the interior designers, such as marble and brass.

The atmosphere of the Chinese restaurant is quite different. More sensual, it evokes the bewitching and mysterious Asia of the 1930’s. Red is a theatrical colour, present from the entrance on several lacquered arches and contrasting with the walls covered with ginkgo leaves sculpted in the plaster. The floor is composed of a checkerboard pattern alternating Venetian china marble and deep green Guatemala marble. With a capacity of 50 - 120 including the private areas - the restaurant room also holds many surprises. The Art Nouveau- inspired décor takes up the dialectic of plants with the representation of gingko leaves on the dark blue carpet but also on the walls in a brass variation. From the burgundy or almond green velvet seats to the glass and brass light fittings, the furnishings further enhance the feeling of comfort and opulence.

On the 36th and top floor of the establishment, the sky bar captivates guests with its breath-taking height. Humbert and Poyet have succeeded in imbuing the space with a great deal of poetry, notably through the installation of oversized lights composed of twirling leaves. The décor has been carefully considered, with meticulous attention to even the smallest details, with unique material effects, the interplay between matte and shiny, and mirrors that give the space even more scope. The overall setting is airy and conductive to escape, just like the hotel in its entirety. Without ever losing their distinctive design style, Humbert & Poyet has brilliantly succeeded in designing JOSUN Palace. Through and through, the dialogue between French decorative arts and Asian aesthetics awakens the senses.

Words: Emily Leung & Nikey Cheng
Photos: Francis Amiand
Published on June 30, 2023