Architecture in the Fashion World

Arkitektura në Botën e Modës

Architecture in the Fashion World

When fashion visionaries join forces with top-tier architects, the result is often pure design magic. Some of the world’s most beautiful stores, museums, and show spaces stand as proof. Giorgio Armani, Tadao Ando, Jaques Herzog, Peter Marino and more discuss their crowning achievements.

Let’s take a look at the iconic buildings that honour the connections between culture, architecture and high fashion.

Yves Saint Laurent Museum – Studio KO 

One thing art and fashion have in common is that they are best exhibited in windowless rooms. A new home for the collections of the Fondation Pierre Bergé–Yves Saint Laurent had no choice but to keep the sun at bay: exhibition galleries, conservation areas, and auditoriums are opaque by necessity. Each of these functions is here housed in a distinct volume, allowing the building to emerge organically as a sculptural assemblage of blocks: its external shape deriving organically from its internal functions. The result is decidedly contemporary. The interplay of delicate bends and bold strokes, of wide curves and sharp angles that characterize the design was inspired by drawings and patterns uncovered in Yves Saint Laurent’s archives.

Fondazione Prada – OMA

At the behest of the overwhelming artistic and cultural force that is Miuccia Prada, frequent super-collaborator Rem Koolhaas and his crew converted a decaying former liquor distillery in the industrial section of south Milan into a magical and surreal arts complex: the Fondazione Prada. Existing factory buildings were restored—one of them clad in 24-karat gold leaf—and starkly juxtaposed with stunning new structures by Koolhaas’s Office for Metropolitan Architecture, or OMA. Within the Fondazione’s walls are permanent installations by artists like Robert Gober and Louise Bourgeois, as well as a revolving program of temporary exhibitions, film screenings, dance performances, and lectures. Miuccia Prada’s love for cutting-edge art has no limit. Here she shares that passion, and pays for it all.

Prada Aoyama Store – Herzog & de Meuron

The shape of the building is substantially influenced by the angle of incidence of the local profile. Depending on where the viewer is standing, the body of the building will look more like a crystal or like an archaic type of building with a saddle roof. The ambivalent, always changing and oscillating character of the building’s identity is heightened by the sculptural effect of its glazed surface structure. Prada clothing, meanwhile, looks backward and forward at the same time, quavering between retro and 21st-century originality. It’s a great intercourse, then, this pairing—a completely modern arrangement that speaks to all our design needs and desires, sartorial and architectural, past and future.

Armani Teatro – Tadao Ando

Tadao Ando transformed a former Nestlé chocolate factory into an event space and stage for Armani’s blockbuster runway shows. Well-known for his masterfully minimal concrete creations, the self-taught Ando revels in empty and dramatically lit spaces—ideal for Armani’s iconic designs. Ando has perfected his smooth-as-silk concrete, which is often used as both structure and surface—the skeleton and the decoration. Tomb-like, haunting, moody, intimidating, even spiritual, Ando’s buildings are spatial sublimity at its finest.

Valentino Flagship – David Chipperfield

Inside Valentino’s New York flagship on Fifth Avenue, the famed British architect Sir David Chipperfield used terrazzo nearly everywhere—on floors, walls, stairs, and even ceilings. He went wild with it, in big honking chunks. The effect is a dizzying interior-design exclamation point from an architect who usually whispers. Since he chose to use one color and two variations of terrazzo—including gray Palladiana, for those keeping score at home—it’s minimal and maximal all at once. Meanwhile, the exterior is a sleek and disciplined International Style facade that plays like an homage to Mies van der Rohe, whose famous Seagram Building is practically around the corner, on Park Avenue.

Fondation Cartier – Jean Nouvel

Whether it is The Louvre, Abu Dhabi or the Serpentine Gallery, London, the play of light and form, transparency and dematerialization is a leitmotif in Jean Nouvel’s oeuvre. It shines in one of his earlier projects as well – 1994’s Fondation Cartier. The foundation was created by Cartier in 1984 as a centre for art exhibits. Nouvel’s design blurred the boundaries of the building and created fluid exhibition spaces that move from the interiors to the park. High glass walls enclose the cubist structure to create the illusion of a transparent fence.

Fondation Louis Vuitton – Frank Gehry

One of the boldest buildings in modern Paris since the Pompidou Centre, Frank Gehry’s design for the Fondation Louis Vuitton is a 21st-century homage to the glorious glass buildings of 19th-century France. In its billowing sails, it recalls Jørn Utzon’s Sydney Opera House. The surrounding greenery, sky and water are reflected in the sails, and create an ever-changing canvas.

Louis Vuitton Store – Peter Marino

Vuitton is back in the Place Vendôme, in a building from 1714 designed by the same guy who did much of the Palace of Versailles, Jules Hardouin-Mansart. Peter Marino, a favorite architect for high-end brick-and-mortar (most notably Chanel and Dior), combined two adjoining buildings to create a new structure that blurs the line between shop and museum. The gilded crown on the building (now removed), which adorned the entire facade, is a large gold-plated sunburst grille. It’s a beautiful dance: the ornate très-Parisian exterior and the slick modern interior. All as Marino intended. “The balance between modern and old,” he says, “is what Paris is all about.”

Chanel Crystal House – MVRDV

The design hopes to provide a solution to the loss of local character in shopping areas around the world. The increased globalisation of retail has led to the homogenisation of high-end shopping streets. Crystal Houses offer the store a window surface that contemporary stores need, whilst maintaining architectural character and individuality, resulting in a flagship store that hopes to stand out amongst the rest.

Flagship Dior, Seoul, South Korea – Christian de Portzamparc

The building was designed by de Portzamparc for a corner plot in the luxury Gangnam shopping district, and also includes a gallery and cafe. Inspired by high fashion creations of Dior, the building is a manifesto with its white lines which wave towards the sky in a subtle asymmetry, evocation of the canvas, genesis of all haute couture pieces. After several months of research and works, Christian de Portzamparc delivers in June, 2015 his building with its volutes of the facade, these hulls, executed as boat hulls, in fiber glass, with very impressive sizes.

Source: gq.com; admiddleeast.com.

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