Talk about an all-inclusive, perpetual gig:
Since 2004, architects at 212box have designed 150 stores for Christian Louboulin – including anything from freestanding to malls to office buildings to graphic displays and standards.
“We both look and shop for the stores but also the products – the tile work and the architecture inspire the shoes and the shoes inspire the architectural product,” says Eric Clough, principal at 212box. “So we’re actually making the stone, leather tile, and the wall coverings.”
Prime examples are two new retail boutiques – one for men, another for women (and side-by-side) on Madison Avenue in New York.
“Madison is an old women’s store and now it’s where the men’s store is,” he says. “The women’s moved next door and the men’s replaced the women’s.”
Each store differs with a palette of custom materials and finishes. This pair features two curved walls with custom-designed red leather tile inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright (in the women’s boutique); for the men’s boutique, 212box designed a custom leather wall to showcase the current styles. A custom wrought iron gate divides the two spaces.
“There are three apertures where men gaze into the women’s and the open gate between,” he says. “There’s a one-way mirror in one aperture where women can watch men try on shoes.”
212box took the project further by creating a highly designed metal screen system – laser-cut from metal panels – that wraps much of the Madison Avenue ground-floor elevation to make the building stand out.
“We had the opportunity to look at the entire building – and the DNA of Louboutin – and to draw back to the trapezoid aspect of the Whitney by Breuer,” he says. “So you go all the way from the Whitney to Christian’s triangulated three screens.”
The patterns, of course, repeat inside.
For more, go here.
Photos by Nick Rochowski