RYSE, Autograph Collection

Aju Hotels & Resorts

Over the years, the South Korean conglomerate Aju Group witnessed dramatic changes in the Hongdae district—under the influence of the prestigious arts school Hong Ik University, the area had become home to the indie music scene, underground nightclubs, K-pop recording studios, as well as hundreds of cafés, restaurants and galleries. Recognising a rare opportunity in the market, they commissioned Marc & Chantal to create a hotel brand that would not only draw from the essence of the neighbourhood, but also add to it.

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The challenge

Located in one of the hottest tourist districts where travellers are spoilt for choice, we knew that the hotel had to become a destination, and not just be a place to stay. In addition, our clients envisioned a platform where local and international creatives could converge to spark new collaborations and ideas.

Our Approach

We began our 3-year long journey with the Aju Group by travelling to Seoul, and we found the Hongdae neighbourhood to be a laid-back hangout spot for university students as well as a must-visit shopping area for international tourists. But every night as the sun comes down and various performers and buskers begin to set up on the streets, Hongdae is transformed into a stage where anyone and everyone is invited to express themselves in their own way.

From there we developed a brand concept for the hotel that took inspiration from the youthful forces of Hongdae and the boundary defying attitudes of street culture.

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- Urban explorers -
Walking through Hongdae with our cameras in hand, we captured the energy of the neighbourhood through hundreds of photos, which we shared with our team back at home.

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- Finding the perfect name -
After rounds of exploration with the team at Aju Group, we found a name and bold visual identity that we felt truly epitomized the spirit of the hotel. Something that marked the rise of a new era for the company, and the rise of a destination that would shake up the hospitality industry.

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*Concept photos that may not reflect actual products

- RISE with a twist -
We imagined RYSE transcending the boundaries of hospitality by being curators and creators of culture, venue for art and music, fashion label… a lifestyle brand of sorts.

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- Making our mark -

Living up to the spirit of creativity and self-expression found in Hongdae and street culture around the world, we were invited by the team at RYSE to make our mark (literally!) in the space.

Flying in from the Marc & Chantal studio in Hong Kong, our designers arrived in Seoul weeks before the hotel’s official opening to hand-paint brushstrokes adjacent to the elevator on each floor of the hotel.

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Photo Courtesy of RYSE Hotel

- A team effort -
RYSE was most definitely not built in a day. In fact, it was born out of years of hard work and dedication by numerous visionaries from around the world. So take a minute to check them out at https://www.rysehotel.com !