It has been almost four generations in K-Pop industry with the second generation marking the expansion outside of South Korea. In this era, the definition of “Big Three Agencies” became well-known; they were SM Entertainment, YG Entertainment, and JYP Entertainment. YG Entertainment has been recognized for their famous bands: BIGBANG, 2NE1, IKON, BLACKPINK, etc. With the ongoing success, the company has expanded and began moving to their new headquarters in September 2020. YGE purchased the land back in 2012. In 2017, UNStudio was invited to be in charge of designing YG Entertainment’s new building.

YG Entertainment Headquarter by UN Studio - Sheet1
YG Entertainment Building-YG’s new headquarters_Rohspace

Overview | YG Entertainment Building

YG Entertainment Headquarter by UN Studio - Sheet2
Bridging the two worlds_Rohspace

The current headquarters, located in the neighborhood of Hapjeong in the Mapo District of Seoul, is situated right next to the previous one on the building site of 3145 square meters. The total building surface is 18801 square meters. The structure acts as a divider of two different worlds with one side facing low-density housing areas while the other is a dense network of highways and bridges. The back opens views towards the river from the interior workspaces and overlooks a large green park afar. Taking advantage of its unique positioning, the concept of “urban speaker” is developed to reflect the connection to music.  Besides, to correlate with the older architectural sibling’s overall massing, the new headquarters aligns in height, floors, and functionality. Unlike the existing building, which is characterized by its concrete exterior, the alternation of aluminum panels allows the new one to appear more innovative, tied back to the futuristic theme by UNStudio.

YG Entertainment Headquarter by UN Studio - Sheet3
YG Entertainment Building-Floorplan_Rohspace


The outer shell is distributed into defined zones relating to the surrounding environment. The façade is semi-glazed with solid areas located towards the housing area on the two sides and the glass section in the middle to provide a sight of internal functions and activities. In these solid areas, dynamic lines distinguish between a perforation pattern from the plain type of aluminum panels. In addition, the structure is curved in a way that when facing the building’s frontal elevation at human scale vision, the view cuts off the upper component to form an abstract shape of the letter “Y” combined by the alternation of aluminum and transparent glass. This detail was not confirmed as the architects’ intention by UNStudio. Still, it screams YG louder than the agency’s logo at the entrance.

YG Entertainment Headquarter by UN Studio - Sheet4
Front facade_Rohspace

In the back, fully glazed areas are situated towards the park. Also, the central zone on this side of the building is equipped with balconies providing outdoor space for employees’ coffee breaks during the day, while acting as a shading device for the levels below. UNStudio wrote: “The protective shell of the new HQ building manifests as a new ‘urban speaker’.” The overall structure reminds one of a giant stereo with puncture patterns of concave aluminum panels on two elevations of the construction’s shorter sides.

YG Entertainment Headquarter by UN Studio - Sheet5
YG Entertainment Building-The back view_Rohspace
YG Entertainment Headquarter by UN Studio - Sheet
’Urban Speaker’ at night_Rohspace


YG Entertainment Headquarter by UN Studio - Sheet7
YG Entertainment Building-Checkpoint hall_Rohspace

Walking through the entrance, one has to pass the checkpoint to get up to the first level where the atrium space welcomes visitors. Unlike YG’s previous headquarters which celebrates a “black to black” concept, UNStudio decided to go for a different style of brightly lit space coated with a range of white tones. Scanning over the interior structure from the atrium, there are floating boxes of translucent capsule-like meeting rooms. These can serve as either ‘working zones’ or ‘resting zones’. A small hidden garden is located at the atrium, a central stage for the lower-level offices, dance practice, and recording studio, as well as all of the users including staff and visitors. Also, the integration of plants throughout the building carries the extension of nature from the nearby park into the internal space. The green element adds a slight touch of color to the monotone interior.

YG Entertainment Headquarter by UN Studio - Sheet8
The atrium space_Rohspace
YG Entertainment Headquarter by UN Studio - Sheet9
Capsule-like meeting rooms_Rohspace
YG Entertainment Headquarter by UN Studio - Sheet10
YG Entertainment Building-Detail of one capsule-like room_Rohspace

Functionalism dominates the design of YG’s new headquarters. Wayfinding can be found by a network of visible geometrical lines, easing the people flows and creating a spatial hierarchy. UNStudio has stated in their press release about the completion of the project that “The dual qualities of the surroundings are reflected in the interior organization of the building through an interlocking sectional concept for the functions.” The defined zones of outer shell reflect the interior planning, based on users’ purpose and interaction with the external environment. The seven office levels are directed to the park view to allow daylight on working levels. The ‘urban speaker’ communicates with its neighbors through design language.

Graphics show wayfinding_Rohspace
The building’s functions_Rohspace

Material and Technology | YG Entertainment Building

BIPV solar cells are incorporated into the construction at the south-facing façade. Building-integrated photovoltaics (BIPV) refer to photovoltaics that is used to replace conventional building materials in parts of the building envelope. They can serve as a principal or ancillary source of electrical power. Recently, there has been an increase in the use of BIPV, enabling more widespread solar adoption. Besides glass, aluminum panel, plain and perforated pattern, is the main material that made up the protective outer shell. This material is lighter and more innovative compared to the architectural sibling’s concrete exterior. The combination of glazed areas and aluminum panels brings out a unique appearance for YG’s current headquarters. The design successfully expresses UNStudio’s concept of an ‘urban speaker’. 

YG Entertainment Building-The protective outer shell_Rohspace


  1.  Headquarters YG Entertainment (no date) UNStudio. Available at: (Accessed: February 10, 2023). 
  2. Press release: Unstudio completes the new HQ for the creators of K-pop (no date) UNStudio. Available at: (Accessed: February 10, 2023). 

Vy Nguyen, is a senior student majoring in interior design, in love with East Asian architecture and philosophy. She is full of passion for art, literature, film and cats. The ocean is her home at heart and the whale is her spirit animal. Her latest focus includes architectural illustration, building material science and instant photography.