New York city’s landscape is changing a lot when we start to talk about retails stores. When Japanese emporium Takashimaya between 54th and 55th streets closed, there was no doubts that soon something new will change its place. A discreet linear, glass-and-steel facade signaled it should be something sophisticated. And the appearance didn’t lie – David Chipperfield’s Architects designed here a new fabulous Valentino flagship store.
The 1.850-metre-square store is designed by the postmodern architects Philip Johgnson and John Burgee and it’s all created with the sense of minimalism. When asked, why the Italian brand chose Chipperfield, Velentino admit, that they identified architecture as the idea for the interior. Whereby, architecture is brought into the store in a process that reduces the superficial decoration by steering away from the use of paneling – an approach that privileges concreteness over shallowness.
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Valentino fashion house wasn’t wrong. Interior surfaces are as minimalistic as thought. On one wall the firm has installed 39 individual shelves to display choice items. Meanwhile, mosaic-like palladiana (where large pieces of marble are embedded in panels of cement and marble dust) tiles cover the staircase. Also, Chipperfeld’s architects filled in the third floor for the men’s department and pulled it back from the façade so that it would look like floating in space.
Talking about furnishing, it includes enormous white Carrara marble counters as well as oak and leather seating, rectilinear vitrines of brass and carbon fiber racks. The second floor suprises with its softness created by gypsum board cast which looks alike the folds of curtains. For keeping the accurate color rendering, the team has chosen LED lighting which keeps up the glitter without glitz.
The exterior of the building has a black steel and aluminium façade, decorated with slender vertical brass bars, reminding Mies van der Rohe’s Seagram Building situated just a couple of blocks away. With its bronze skin and tinted glass façade it fulfill the standards of the modern skyscraper.
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Overall, with their three dimensional solidity, two-dimensional surfaces and patterns, David Chipperfield’s team made just right environment for Valentino’s often bold and dramatic apparel. Visit it and check out by yourself!
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