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July 26, 2019

The Kia Beat360 is a Must-Go in Seoul If You Love Cars and Coffee

At the sidelines of the Seltos global drive, Kia also brought us to an immersive brand experience center dubbed, Kia Beat360.

Based on Kia’s “A Different Beat” essence, Beat360 (stylized as BEAT360) is the Korean automaker’s first brand space filled with carefully-designed vehicle exhibitions, branded content, and even cultural events.

The building itself, located in the posh Gangnam District in Seoul is inspired by the flow of air across a moving vehicle. To achieve this look, the façade consists of 7,553 unique stereoscopic “modules” that changes based on the viewing angle and time.

Inside, the same tile motif continues, but this time, the 8,800 individual tiles not serve to outline the café space, but they’re made to mimic the display of an audio equalizer as well. Kia spared no expense, going down to hiring ContextFormContext or CFC—a Korean-based design studio to create unique typefaces just for Beat360.

Upon entering, the Café space is the first thing that greets visitors. Aside from the wide and airy feel, coffee and tea aficionados can appreciate the offerings of Seoul’s first Steven Smith Tea café branch. While the tea and coffee themselves have made their way to better hotels and supermarkets in Korea, the café does offer exclusively crafted beverages for Beat360.

The Garden zone meanwhile offers a small tranquil space in the middle of the bustling city. In addition, there’s a small putting zone where families can enjoy a mini golf session. Finally, at the Salon, the brand experience center uses Amazon Facial Recognition technology for audiophiles to enjoy an audio-visual experience inspired by Kia’s trademark music-connected ambient lighting.

All throughout the 1,900-square meter space, Kia’s Docents (literally a professional guide in a cultural space) serve as storytellers making the visit even more pleasurable and informative. Oh, and the guide may even know a Tagalog word or two, because some of them received their English language training in the Philippines!

Connecting all three spaces is a common space that looks like a track-and-field oval. Here, Kia has displayed their line-up from the Korean-market only Ray small car to the ultra-luxury K9. Aside from allowing visitors to poke around the different vehicles, virtual reality is also used for an immersive experience.

Of course, no brand experience center is complete with Kia premium items. Items from Kia’s Tuon tuning brand as well as various items such as dog carriers and scale models are all on sale. For those feeling extra fancy, they can even purchase a special Maurice Lacroix x Kia K9 collaboration wrist watch that costs up to 11.890 million Korean won (~ P 513,600).

Opened in 2017, the Kia Beat360 has been recognized by the International Design Excellence Awards (IDEA) for its design. The jury all praised the experience center for its innovative and pioneering design philosophy.

It’s no surprise since Kia sees design as one of its competitive edges. Yet, the 16,353 modules that form the inside and out of Beat360 go beyond that. Through an immersive brand experience space, they want to show that customer experience can also set them apart from other brands.

Kia Beat360 Visitor Information
  • Address: 417, Apgujeong-ro, Gangnam-gu, Seoul
  • Hours: 9:00 – 21:00 (Closed on the third Monday of every month. Closed on New Year’s Day, Lunar New Year’s Day, and Chuseok, and on the day following these holidays)
How to Get There
  • By Subway: Get off Apgujeong Rodeo Station (Bundang Line) via Exit 2, then walk 263 m towards Cheongdam Junction.
  • By Bus: Take Bus 4412, 472 or 145 to Apgujeong Rodeo Station, then walk 302m towards Cheongdam Junction.
  • By Car: Go straight towards Sinsa Station at the intersection on the southern end of Yeongdongdaegyo Bridge > Turn right at Cheongdam Junction > Arrive at KIA BEAT360 next to Galleria Luxury Hall East.

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