A Case Study of Hybridization Patterns in Seoul’s Coffee Shops

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  • Title: A Case Study of Hybridization Patterns in Seoul’s Coffee Shops: Toward a New Urban Culture
  • Author(s): Ekaterina Shafray, Seiyong Kim
  • Publisher: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Collection: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Series: Design Principles & Practices
  • Journal Title: The International Journal of Architectonic, Spatial, and Environmental Design
  • Keywords: Coffee Shop, Café, Usability and New Programs, Seoul, Urban Hybridization
  • Volume: 11
  • Issue: 2
  • Year: 2017
  • ISSN: 2325-1662 (Print)
  • ISSN: 2325-1670 (Online)
  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.18848/2325-1662/CGP/v11i02/27-37
  • Citation: Shafray, Ekaterina, and Seiyong Kim. 2017. "A Case Study of Hybridization Patterns in Seoul’s Coffee Shops: Toward a New Urban Culture." The International Journal of Architectonic, Spatial, and Environmental Design 11 (2): 27-37. doi:10.18848/2325-1662/CGP/v11i02/27-37.
  • Extent: 11 pages

Abstract

Flexibility and hybridization of various commercial and public functions can be seen in today’s urban landscapes, especially in the densely-populated global cities of Asia. This article, using the example of Seoul, South Korea, analyzes public cafes and coffee shops from the perspective of urban design typology. The compact space of a coffee shop, coupled with its location, proximity to urban dominant functions, users’ preferences, and the industry’s highly competitive nature, creates a unique environment and offers the opportunity for innovative design solutions. This article provides examples of building types ranging from one-story spaces to five-story specialized coffee house structures. Further, it examines the coffee shop’s usability features in relation to its various locations, namely near the campus of Korea University, in the commercial and entertainment area of Myeong-dong, and in the office and business district of Yeouido. It notes the adaptation of space to the area’s dominant use. Lastly, this article highlights seven types of program variations and their integration with other programs. These coffee shop variations and combination with other activities show the uniqueness and ingenuity of their creators as a response to a competitive environment, but also indicate a growing hybridization of urban functions in Seoul, one of Asia’s global cities.