Within an historic art nouveau building in St. Petersburg, Russia, Rafael de Cárdenas and his New York–based firm Architecture at Large have designed a vibrant and modern interior for the third floor of the Au Pont Rouge department store. The eight-story, 30,000 square foot building, designed by architects Vladimir Lipskii and Konstantin de Rochefort, was constructed between 1906 and 1907. Early in its extensive history, the building was home to a department store rumored to boast the Romanov family as customers. The design for the third floor does not represent the historic character of the building, said de Cárdenas in an interview with AN. However, a variety of unique colors, textures, and layouts combine to create a distinct shopping experience. The project's overall spatial arrangement differs from the traditional perimeter layout for department stores. In a perimeter layout, stalls are arranged in a track tracing the perimeter of the store. In this retail space, however, stalls and changing areas are located along the linear spine of the floor. Public spaces, circular in shape, also make up the spine and host designer pop-ups, activities, and services areas. de Cárdenas noted that the varying ceiling heights helped to distinguish the open zones that comprise the spine from more intimate ones that flank the spine. These more intimate areas have lower ceiling heights and are separated green glass walls layered with expanded metal mesh. Lighting, in tandem with the colors, also alludes to the contrasting qualities of these spaces. On the window-facing side of the spine, the ceilings feature green, anodized aluminum fins. This detail “[captures] the light in a more interesting way,” said de Cárdenas. On the atrium side of the spine, the ceilings are simpler, flat, green surfaces with recesses for lighting . As the day progresses, the glow from the lights “casts a soft gleam over everything.” The fourth floor of the store, also designed by Rafael de Cárdenas and Architecture at Large, is not yet complete but de Cárdenas did note that the two floors are cohesive.
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New York-based real estate investor Harry Macklowe, behind the Bohlin Cywinski Jackson-designed Fifth Avenue glass cube Apple Store, is working on bringing another cube to Manhattan, this time on Park Avenue. “On Tuesday, Macklowe Properties unveiled renderings for what it calls a ‘Park Avenue Cube’—a low-rise retail building adjacent (and connected) to its luxury condominium tower,” The Real Deal reports. The cube was designed by Rafael Viñoly Architects. “Together, the cube and tower will hold 130,000 square feet of retail and office space.” The cube is sited for 432 Park Avenue—also designed by Rafael Viñoly Architects—and will host two floors of retail space totaling 6,600 square feet and a Zion and Breech-designed marble plaza featuring birches. The cube will connect to the supertall condo tower via a below-ground 30,000 square-foot concourse. 432 Park Avenue, which opened at the end of 2015, is currently the tallest residence in New York City, topping out at 1,396 feet. The property was previously the site of the 1926 Drake Hotel which once accommodated celebrities (Judy Garland, Muhammad Ali, among others) and musicians and bands (Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, The Who, Frank Sinatra). Macklowe bought the property and hotel in 2006, and demolished the hotel in 2007. 432 Park Avenue will also feature 17,600 square feet of office space above 20,000 square feet of retail. “There are only two markets, ultraluxury and subsidized housing,” Rafael Viñoly told The New York Times in May 2013, at the start of 432 Park construction. At the time, the first ten floors were finished, with 78 left to go.
Designs by Chicago-based Goettsch Partners, along with Hong Kong-based Lead 8, have been chosen for a 2,841,672-square-foot, mixed-use complex in Shanghai. The Financial Street Shanghai Railway Station Mixed-Use Development is spread across two parcels of land just north of the Shanghai Rail Station. The project provides pedestrian routes connecting the project to adjacent sites and public transportation hubs with above and below grade paths and bridges. David Buffonge, cofounder and executive director of Lead 8 explained that “Financial Street Shanghai creates a sustainable urban environment that will concentrate walkable, compact densities around a vibrant mixed-use site near Shanghai Railway Station.” On the eastern parcel of the project, a 161,459-square-foot office building is accompanied by 484,375 square feet of loft apartments, and 161,458 square feet of retail space. The western parcel includes 1,410,072 square feet of office space, another 581,251 square feet of retail,236,806 square feet of loft apartment space, and a 53,819-square-foot cultural center. These programs are spread through five main buildings surrounded by shared public spaces and green retail streets. The office buildings also connect with the outdoors with indoor-outdoor work spaces, specifically tailored to appeal to technology and start-up companies. Both Goettsch and Lead 8 worked on the master plan for the project. Goettsch is leading the design on all the office and residential portions of the western parcel and the exterior design of the eastern parcel, while Lead 8 is handling all of the retail portions. Lead 8 is a young office founded in 2014. Their name, a partial acronym, stands for living environments, architecture and design. With offices in Hong Kong, Singapore and Kuala Lumpur, they focus on large-scale, mixed-use, and transit-oriented developments.
The 2800 sq. ft. flagship store opened ahead of Baccarat's 250 year anniversary.Architecture at Large, a multi-disciplinary practice working within the architecture, interior, art, and branding fields, recently transformed a blackstone Madison Avenue facade into a flagship store for Baccarat, a French manufacturer of fine crystal renowned for their craftsmanship and innovative designs. The facade draws inspiration from said craftsmanship of the 250-year-old brand. Composed of three-layers of custom frit glass, a large-scale, faceted pattern abstracts the cutting of crystal glass into a super scale pattern. "One of the most difficult techniques in the cutting of crystal is the diamond cut," says Rafael de Cárdenas, founder of AAL, "and one of the key attributes that sets Baccarat apart from their competition is the level of intricacy to their cuts." Through various densities of fritting applied to the three layers, ranging in density from 25-75%, a dynamic shifting image is created for passersby and visitors to the building. The Baccarat facade affords limited views of the interior walls, lined with a disorienting blend of dark Macassar ebony wood interspersed with mirrored strips folded into a zig-zagged, corrugated surface. These walls—along with a large centralized chandelier hanging over the entryway—reflect daylight in the space. Cardenas says the sharpness of this feature wall was inspired by the brand itself. “We liked the idea of creating a mystery - of obscuring the interior to create a sense of seduction.” Specific portals utilizing clear glass were framed out on the ground level to establish storefront display zones, and selectively above to reveal the chandelier from the exterior. The retail project was composed of a notably significant project team, pairing two architecture firms with a code consultant, structural engineer, and project manager. The team ultimately influenced the identity of the facade through performative analysis. Fritting pattern densities were adjusted, and ultimately increased during the design process to promote greater heat retention within the interior space, helping to reduce HVAC loads on the building. The existing floor plates of the building were modified to create a large, two-story entrance to the store, resulting in a significantly altered facade opening, infilled with a two-story glass storefront. Through custom frit patterns and layering of material, Cárdenas’ team was able to produce an architectural effect that behaves like crystal itself. “The tradition of having a very holistic identity that has a street presence was definitely honed in Asia,” says Cárdenas, who cites Shiro Kuramata's work with Issey Miyake in the late 1970's as triggering a particularly dynamic retail design culture. "In Asia, all of the brands have their own buildings. Here in New York, on Madison Avenue, the architecture already exists. The facade has no relationship to the interior. With this being said, we were able to create a very strong identity using only glass."
With its first commission for a retail project, Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) will design the new flagship store for Galeries Lafayette on the prestigious Champs-Élysées in Paris. “It has to be, somehow, the biggest concept store that has been built on the Champs-Élysées,” said Nicolas Houzé, chief executive officer of Galeries Lafayette. To give an impression of the size of the project, BIG's renovation will see Galeries Lafayette occupy some 75,350 square feet, a tenth of the size of the chain's outlet on the Haussmann Boulevard. Speaking to Business of Fashion, Ingels was eager to note that the Art Deco heritage of the building would be maintained, paying respect to the established architectural aesthetic that is a recurring feature within the vicinity. “We are inheriting a big, beautiful building that has been there for a century. So we are mostly moving around within it and playing with elements that have already been established. And I think it is going to feel like a joyful and playful environment for people to shop,” said Ingels. BIG is set to install an "observatory" that will allow visitors to look down the avenue. Also included will be a "circus" which makes use of a translucent flooring system and an “infinite vitrine” that will display Melvin Sokolsky’s black-and-white photographs of models seemingly floating inside bubbles. With regard to the renovation of a concealed skylight, Ingels pointed out that this would not be a simple copy of similar light at the Haussmann Boulevard. “We’re taking that element and letting it bleed out across the store, so that the lighting behaves in a similar way as when the clouds move over Paris.”
Voyager Espresso, a 550-square-foot coffee bar, brings the perks of artisanal coffee to New York’s perpetually caffeine craving Financial District in the new Fulton Center. The bar opened in January and was crafted by New York–based design practice Only If, a team of five architects and designers founded in 2013. The clients, a pair of Australians, wanted the space to look distinctly different from the ubiquitous white tile, reclaimed wood, and Edison bulb coffee shop aesthetic and had ambitious plans despite their tight budget. With this in mind, Adam Frampton, principal at Only If, opted for an “inexpensive but futuristic” material palette of aluminum enamel painted oriented strand board, black marble, perforated aluminum and copper, and black rubber. “In such a small and constrained space, our first intuition was to be very pragmatic with the layout and articulate the design through the materials and details. However, we didn’t want to simply decorate the space,” Frampton said. “It soon became apparent that a more figural gesture—albeit less efficient in terms of quantity of seating—improved ergonomics within the service area and produced a greater identity and hierarchy.” Frampton also devised a layout based on two circles: The positive volume, a barista station, allows two baristas to work simultaneously and a negative volume, the "grotto," a seating space carved out of the surrounding walls. Frampton and his team worked through many iterations before landing on this clever configuration. “The method of exhausting all possibilities until the best fit emerges is probably something that came from my experience working at OMA,” said Frampton. “What’s really interesting about the layout is how it activates different social settings and creates different types of seating.” The careful planning paid off: After seven weeks of preparing the design and obtaining the correct permit, drawing, and construction documents, the space was built in about eight weeks. It is now open Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 110 William Street through the John Street subway entrance.
The New York Landmarks Conservancy is honoring Apple with its 2016 Chairman's Award. The award, to be given at a fundraising luncheon where individual tickets start at $500, honors the company for "their contribution to preserving, restoring, and repurposing notable historic structures in New York City." Although Apple's New York flagship store, on Fifth Avenue between 58th and 59th streets, is recognized widely for its modern glass cube, the company has four stores in historically significant locations around the city. Apple has a shop in Grand Central Terminal, a New York City landmark, and stores within the Soho, Gansevoort Market, and Upper East Side historic districts. With 700,000 travellers passing through Grand Central Terminal, that store is the most heavily trafficked of the historic four, Apple Insider speculates. In March, the NYLC will recognize the company's commitment to historic preservation (or locating stores in historic areas, as there is no explicit preservation agenda in the stores' design). The Chairman's Award was started in 1988 to recognize "exceptional commitment to the protection and preservation of the rich architectural heritage of New York." The NYLC is different from the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission: the latter is a city government group that decides which districts and structures receive recognition for the historic, cultural, or architectural merits and subsequent protection under local historic preservation laws. The former is a nonprofit advocacy organization that protects the architectural heritage of New York City by advocating for preservation-friendly policy at the state, local, and national level; running workshops and providing technical assistance; and providing loans and grants for preservation of individual structures, sites, and neighborhoods.
Foster + Partners has revealed initial images of a proposed Apple store at the intersection of Michigan Avenue and the Chicago River. The new store will replace their existing Michigan Avenue flagship store six blocks to the north. Echoing the company’s 5th Avenue store in New York, the design calls for a large, mostly glass structure with an expanded retail space below ground. Unlike the 5th Avenue store, and more akin to Foster’s recent Aix-en-Provence, France Apple iteration, the new Chicago Store will feature a light solid roof suspended on two large columns. Located on, and below, Pioneer Square, the store will have one of the most visible locations in the city, surrounded by some of Chicago’s most iconic architectural landmarks. The square itself is flanked by the Tribune Tower to the north, the modernist Bruce Graham designed 401 North Michigan Avenue (formerly the Equitable Building) to the East, and the Wrigley Building immediately across Michigan Avenue. The view up the river to the west will also include the Trump Tower, Marina City, and Mies’ AMA Plaza (formerly IBM Plaza), making this location one of the most recognized tourist, not to mention retail, locations in the city. The 20,000-square-foot retail space will occupy an unused cafeteria at Lower Michigan Avenue. The store will also engage with the infrequently used Riverwalk along the north bank of the river. New balustrades and stairs will be added, as well as the 34-foot-tall glass wall of the store itself. According to representatives from Foster + Partners at a recent courtesy presentation to the City Planning Commission, there will be no retail at the surface Pioneer Square level, with the 14-foot-above-grade glass structure acting as a grand entrance. The city has already approved the project, and construction is planned to begin next year.
LuLu Group International has commissioned Design International and Eng. Adnan Saffarini to design its new flagship shopping center: Avenues Mall, Silicon Oasis in Dubai. And while it might not boast the heights we're used to seeing in the towering city, it is certainly sprawling at 1,779 acres. Avenues Mall, Silicon Oasis is the front door of the so-called Dubai Silicon Oasis development covering some 1,779 acres. To wrap your head around that number, that's 2.7 square miles or 1,306 football fields. The vicinity will be home to over 700 high tech companies, hotels, business parks, and large residential communities, located right off Emirates Road and Al Ain Road in a rapidly developing area on Dubai's periphery. Architect for Design International, Davide Padoa, said in a press release, "All of the parties involved in this project share the same values: the development of the community, as well as the desire to be at the forefront of style, technology and sustainable innovation, which is what Dubai Silicon Oasis stands out for." The mall uses pebble-like forms that, when viewed from a distance, appear to be wrapped in white wrapping paper. Of course, this is only an illusion—white tiles comprise the facade system that's supposedly inspired by "ancient Arabian movements across the desert." Design Internationals said it aimed to create "an oasis of calm and tranquility in the otherwise hectic pace of modern suburban Dubai." As for the interior, five plazas will reflect the five elements of an oasis: The Cave, The Canyon, The Forest, The Lagoon, and The Mirage. Also inside will be entertainment, urban fashion, luxury, kids, sports and leisure zones along with a cinema, 45 restaurants, and a flagship LuLu Hypermarket and LuLu Department Store. To accomodate the arrival of the expected number of visitors by car, there will also be a two level 3,600 capacity car park.
The acclaimed architectural firm that once decked the walls of a Tokyo Yakitori bar with LAN cables recently completed designs for the latest retail outlet of Shang Xia, a Chinese culture–inspired offshoot of the renowned Hérmes fashion brand. Touted as “a space combining retail, culture and the arts,” the Shanghai-based space is an expanse of natural wood and sandstone housed in an unassuming red-brick French villa. The interior walls sport a plastic-meets-cloth veneer that has been tri-axially folded into honeycomb-like indentations. Heat-treated and shaped in Japan, the material has the shape-memory texture and strength of plastic and the softness of natural cloth. Founded by designer Jiang Qiong Er, the brand is dedicated to the art of living as embodied by Chinese heritage and craftsmanship, retailing fine decorative objects, sculptural furniture, luxurious garments and rare accessories. Guided by a 21st-century Asian aesthetic, the elegant, 1,356-square-foot retail space is fronted by a pixelated all-glass veneer facing the thrumming streets of Xintiandi, near Shanghai’s commercial center. The work of famed Japanese architect Kengo Kuma, the outlet includes exhibition space for arts and culture. The architect also previously designed Shiang Xia’s outlets in Beijing and Paris, the latter resplendent with a lattice of over 10,000 glistening tiles extending into a layered ceiling installation. Meanwhile, the Beijing store contained latticed partitions of extended aluminium, which evoked a brickwork skeleton.
These days, the illicit thrill of sneaking into a hidden bar from the back of a video store is a mere blip on our adrenaline threshold. But a new speakeasy in Shanghai aims to reinvent the game with a sleek underground bar concealed behind the innocent facade of a sandwich shop. The diner setup is intact, but the glossy countertops in bright shades, neon lighting strips and polished minimalist furniture against unfinished walls emit a suspicious whiff of not-diner. Slot some coins into the vintage-looking Coca Cola vending machine in the corner and it suddenly swings outward, revealing a cooly-lit tunnel and the not-too-distant din of sophisticated chatter. A contrastingly different setting reveals itself: a chic, dimly-lit bar clad in dark tones of black and brown. By the entrance, floor-to-ceiling shelving holds bell jar-shaped whiskey bottles, a spotlight beneath each one illuminating the amber liquid within. A canopy of copper-inlaid lighting overhead echoes this warm glow, while white LED lights on a slanted plane behind the bar visibly project the liquor bottles outward. The owners of 'Flask and The Press' commissioned designer Alberto Caiola to create a mysterious, dynamic setting without feeling too try-hard. “Considering that Shanghai has already seen its fair share of hidden speakeasy-themed bars and lounges, we decided to build suspense and break it in an entirely unexpected fashion,” Caiola told Designboom. Suspended from a wall adjacent to the entrance is an installation of flasks covered by a veil so that only their outlines are visible. Rather than partitioning the seating areas, Caiola juxtaposed chesterfield sofas, bar stools and winged armchairs of different heights to visibly section the space. The wooden floorboards underfoot alternate from dark to light to dark again in keeping with this variation, while cascading cubes suspended from above relieve the low-ceilinged space of stuffiness. A wunderkind at visibly expanding a confined space, Caiola plays tastefully with convex mirrors and slanted planes to lengthen and focalize.
Glass and corrugated metal envelop a Scottsdale cycling shop.When debartolo architects principal Jack DeBartolo 3 AIA first visited the site of Bicycle Haüs in Scottsdale, he knew it was exactly what owners Shasta and Kale Keltz were looking for. "In Arizona, with our very intense heat, we love it when we can unite two things: a northern orientation to maximize light without direct sun, and high visibility to the public way," said DeBartolo. "When a parcel's oriented like this, with its main side facing north, it allows us to do both things in one. We can build a glass facade for light and to advertise the contents, and it can also be a view building." DeBartolo's firm designed a wedge-shaped structure with a broad structural glass facade facing the street. The remainder of the building is clad in weathering steel, a low-maintenance material that taps into the desert aesthetic of decay and renewal. "The concept for the building was all about its orientation, and its place, and its environmental response," explained DeBartolo. The architects chose a wedge form for the 5,000-square-foot showroom for several reasons. First, they wanted to maximize glazing on the north-facing facade. "With the shape of the building we collect that northern light and pull it deeply into the building," said DeBartolo. "In the desert, we get a lot of our intense sunlight bouncing off the ground. It also bounces off the ceiling inside the space, so often there's almost no electric light needed in this room." In addition, the building's massing pushes its activity to the street rather than to the back of the lot. Finally, the architects designed the wedge form and a gently sloping roof to someday accommodate solar panels. The 48-foot-wide, 30-foot-tall structural glass wall on the north facade was the product of careful coordination among the architects, engineers, and installers. "What we love, and where we often say less is more work, is that in Arizona we can attach the glass directly to the structural shell using a liquid affixing system," said DeBartolo. Steel tabs welded to the ends of a series of 2-inch-by-6-inch structural tube steel columns receive six-foot-wide panels of low-e insulated glass. Since the glass and steel erectors work with different tolerance levels, explained DeBartolo, "getting them all on the same page early on takes a pretty significant learning curve. You're pushing construction to the max, but we love the overall quality we get when we've literally just glazed the structure." The bicycle shop's mezzanine level cantilevers ten feet over the entrance to create a shaded porch. In addition to providing a space for cyclists to gather before and after rides, the porch "encourages sidewalk activity along First Avenue," said DeBartolo. "That's an important criterion that Scottsdale's trying to push." Corrugated box rib cold-rolled steel, fabricated by Gen3, envelops the building's east, south, and west facades. "The idea was to economize the skin and create a really well-insulated building," said DeBartolo. The architects liked that the steel was available in 30-foot runs, allowing them to avoid horizontal seams. They also wanted "something with aesthetic richness," said DeBartolo. "We try to do everything we can to avoid painting buildings. This weathering steel allows the building to continue to enrich itself as time passes." At the southwest corner of the lot, where team members enter through a back door, debartolo architects carved a notch out of the building's massing, replacing the corrugated envelope with galvanized flat panels affixed with VHB. "We allowed the interior when we cut it away to remain galvanized," explained DeBartolo. "It creates relief, visually, from the harsh exterior." The designers incorporated custom slot windows into the metal facades. "They work really well with our strong western light," said DeBartolo. "We just get little strips of lights rather than a large mass that creates heat gain." The windows are arranged so that they hit the corrugation pattern at the same place every time. They are also integrated with the interior displays, moving up and down to make way for racks of merchandize. "It was very thought through, very methodical, though it created something that almost looks random," said DeBartolo. The architecture of the Bicycle Haüs embodies the owners' passion for cycling. "They really pride themselves on staying state of the art with respect to cycling," said DeBartolo. "In much the same way they wanted the building to really respond to that. Furniture and fixtures define the movement of people, but the space is a lofty room that's almost a gallery for bicycles."