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AMO designs Virgil Abloh's Off-White store in Paris, reflecting the brand's multifaceted identity
France Architecture News - Jul 06, 2021 - 13:54 3299 views
AMO, the research counterpart of OMA, has designed American designer and entrepreneur Virgil Abloh's new store in Paris, France.
The new store, called Off-White Flagship Store Paris, offers a dynamic space where the high-end and the casual meet.
The project, led by OMA Partner Ellen van Loon, Director of AMO, Samir Bantal, and Giulio Margheri, is located two blocks away from Place Vendôme.
Extended over three floors with a courtyard, a gallery and a market in a 19th century corner building, when visitors enter in, it gradually reveals to the visitor a repertoire of contrasting ambiences.
AMO's new project explores "new ways in which architecture facilitates the interaction between fashion collections and the public."
In the project, the firm reinterprets iconic architectural elements from the Parisian courtyard and flea market, the city becomes present inside the store.
"Where does streetwear end and high fashion begin? Over twenty years ago, Sarah Andelman's Colette was the predecessor of modern experiential retail, one of the first concept stores where streetstyle met luxury," said Ellen van Loon and Samir Bantal.
"Fast forward to 2021, a couple of blocks away from where Colette sat, the new Off-White store in Paris represents the brand's multifaceted identity as a cultural channel broadcasting style, media and fashion, humbly saluting Colette and drawing from its irreplaceable legacy," added Van Loon and Bantal.
The design of the new store is part of a long collaboration between AMO and Virgil Abloh, which started in 2018 with the design of the fashion designer’s first solo exhibition Figures of Speech. Off-White Paris is the second store AMO designed for the brand after the Miami flagship.
"Working with AMO is a synergistic process. The way we ideate is similar – nothing is off limits – and the outcome at Off-White Paris is greater than I could have ever imagined," said Virgil Abloh.
The space strongly combines Parisian elegance with industrial rawness, rethinking Parisian high-end retail. The main entrance of the store starts under the arches of Rue de Castiglione with a semi-circular vestibule of corrugated glass – which leads to the ground floor’s centerpiece: a reinterpretation of the typical Parisian courtyard, containing the women’s collection.
Framed by arches inspired by the street’s portico, the courtyard’s walls and floors are cladded in white travertine. The courtyard is designed in a sober and refined manner, inducing visitors for a calm and slow shopping experience, while it can also accommodate dynamic events such as fashion shows.
"The entrance on Rue du Mont Thabor leads to what feels like a completely different store," said AMO.
Light blue walls and a black terrazzo floor are filled with AMO-designed freestanding furniture, which showcase Off-White’s brand partnerships.
"The store’s multifaceted identity is further reinforced by the design of the upper floors," AMO added. "In the intimate atmosphere of the mezzanine, with its low ceiling and small windows, a space inspired by the aesthetics of the gift shop hosts the kids’ and homeware collections, as well as an exhibition wall."
On the second floor, the men’s collection is presented with the high ceiling and large windows facing the city create a luminous, clear space, which can be easily reconfigured for concerts, art shows and parties.
AMO designs a foldable box finished with Sottsass-red veneer that conceals the bar and the back of house.
The floor is filled with freestanding display elements designed by AMO – metallic clothing racks, wooden tables and white travertine shelving systems – echoing the Parisian flea market.
"Contrasting combinations of textures and colors emphasize the store's repertoire of ambiences, creating an abstract reinterpretation of Paris," as AMO explains.
Image © OMA
Image © OMA
Image © OMA
Image © OMA
Image © OMA
Project name: Off-White Flagship Store Paris
Location: 8 Rue de Castiglione, Paris
Architects: Ellen van Loon, Samir Bantal, Giulio Margheri
Team: Lina Jaidi, Camille Filbien, Natalie Konopelski, Valerio di Festa, Alexandru Tintea, Claudio Araya, Yushang Zhang, Giada Zuan
De Studio (chandeliers)
Barbarito Bancel Architectes (local architect)
All images © Benoit Florençon, courtesy OMA unless otherwise stated.
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