Architype Dialogue presents
What was the most difficult issue about working within this building type or the most unexpected challenge that may have influenced new thought in your project?
The flow of the boutique and the layout of the merchandise here is less formal and less traditional than the style typically found at other Chanel boutiques. The feeling is a bit more casual and lends an edgier feel to the space to appeal to the downtown shopper, and to attract the younger customer who is likely shopping there. Nonetheless, many iconic elements were retained that reflect the brand’s heritage, such as the black and white graphicism with which the house is identified, used here throughout the store.
In order to create visual energy and give the boutique an open and modern feel there are no rooms per se. Rather the manipulation of surface treatments (color, texture, sheen) on floors, ceilings and walls defines various distinct areas of commerce, which aggregate into a latter day bazaar.
Did this project expand or evolve your role as an architect in any way? In general, do you feel that the role of the architect is changing on current projects?
Architecture has always involved coordinating the efforts and goals of many different parties to achieve a coherent and compelling environment. The difference now is that even small projects are far more complex than in the past. We add to this complexity, and to the richness of the resulting spaces, by introducing art in a way that engages and becomes part of the architecture.
How is your building possible today in a way that it may not have been before and how have trends in technology and society inspired new thought and solutions?
Without the rapid development in LED technology over the past decade the backlit walls in much of the boutique would not have been possible.