Cooking Library is the sign in golden letters that marks the latest architectural project of Choi Wook for One O One Studio. Here in Seoul, South Korea’s modern capital city, this investment in the potential of culinary culture comes from Hyundai Card. This credit card company has developed a plan in the city that is focused on the value of reading. Four buildings house four thematic libraries, one dedicated to music and the performing arts, another to travel literature. A third is a refuge for lovers of design. The latest addition, on four levels, uses ingenious architecture to favor the exploration of the world of food.
The library structure
Set in a hipster district of Seoul, Gangnam, the library includes a vast collection of books and cookbooks plus a series of services for visitors. Alongside the reading room is a bakery and café, two kitchens equipped for practical lessons, experiential laboratories, and even a greenhouse on the roof, along with Greenhouse, the library restaurant. On the second floor, the library holds 16,000 volumes, almost all in English. In the unusual Ingredient House is a Noah’s Ark of flavors, with hundreds of ingredients from around the world to be examined and sampled. On the third floor is the Recipe Room, where those who are participating in lessons can try out recipes with the guidance of professional chefs. The terrace holds a pizza oven, a barbecue, and a glass structure that can seat about a dozen guests. On the walls, a selection of aromatic herbs, while seasonal vegetables grow in the roof garden. A kitchen on the ground floor is supervised by Wonjun We, executive chef del Park Hyatt Seoul. Access to the library is limited to holders of the Hyundai Card (and their guests) who can visit a maximum of eight times a month. If you are traveling to Seoul, check out what’s going on at the Cooking Library.
by Livia Montagnoli