After Hong Kong Chater House and Tokyo Ginza Tower, Fifth Avenue completes the trilogy of the Armani Stores designed by Doriana and Massimiliano Fuksas for the famous designer. Situated in the centre of New York, in one of the street more known, the project takes up the first three floors of two buildings localized between the 5th Avenue and the 56th Street. Besides the basement, the show room develops on four differents levels and it’s conceived of an only space, without clear distinctions, a singing space connected with the power generated by the whirlwind of the staircase.
The nucleus of the project is the staircase that connects the floors. It’s a structure wrought with the radiator grill of steel, covered with plastic material that highlights the look of sculpture. It’s an element completely indipendent that can be assimilated with difficulty to a simple geometric figure, that originates a whirlwind with a great dymanism, and around of it there are the different levels that receives the Armani’s world.
The movement of the ribbons that constitutes it, brings to the different floors, just skimming them and disenchanting the possibility to recognize the geometry and the static. The same movement arrives to lap the vertical surfaces tranferring to it a share of the dynamism. The general layout of every floor develops on the always different flexures, that enriches of shades the lightness of wall coloured mastic.
No element is extraneus to the internal dynamism, not even the external façade; even if lined up to rigid orthogonal stitch of Manhattan, simulates the movement through images and shades projected on a set of LED thread. This screen, other than being the projection to the outside of the internal space, is also a particolar tribute to New York city, to the inescapable necessity to compare with his modernity and his dynamism. The fluidity of the internal space is rendered by the wall of continous thread, that are realized with wood panels lacquered monochrome. The different rays of bends that outlines the threads give rise to fields and handles for the different product areas.
On every points the foldings of the threads gives hospitality to the dressing-room and the vip hall, in other points there are areas reserved to the staff, cash desk, or special product areas like Armani Dolci. A particular importance is given by the enlightenment that defines, characterizes and emphasizes the bends of the walls and of the spaces, and highlighting the different functions of the general layout. Every element of the internal design, from the ehxibitors to the rooms to hang up the clothes, from the desks to the armchairs, follows and satisfied the movement concept generated by the staircase, becoming a part of the same whirlwind. Also the disposition and the route that it implies, outiline singing layout.
There is a conflicting between the shine of the colour of the walls and of the furnishings, and the noir of marble pave and of the false ceiling. There is also a conflicting between the apparent simplicity of the internal space and the coffe and restaurant area that give advance notice of the elevator’s entrance. The bronze refolded and bended, that covers them, acquires and reflects the colours and the shades that gave notice of a mew atmosphere.
Inside the restaurant, filtered by a amber veil, there is a splendid view of the 5th Avenue and in the end of Central Park. The colours and the materials utilized are the same of the rest of the show room, but the suggestions are nwe and different. The space become recreational, a line of light on the floor that leads to the entrance of the restaurant underlining the sensuality of the bends of the wall. A virtual curtain, they active the passage and as a theater…the show begins!
Doriana and Massimiliano Fuksas said: “The building that incorporates Armani/5th Avenue holds a very important place in the history of architecture because its façade is one of the first examples of the “International Style”. When one is dealing with such a cultural milestone, one must always bear in mind that the exterior is totally New York, while the interior should have its own identity. A reflection of the flair and aesthetic values that define the Giorgio Armani style.
The grand staircase is the focal point, an exciting sculptural feature which connects all the different levels that accommodate the Armani universe range by range. Innovative in both layout and content, Armani/5th Avenue is the first concept store in which all the Armani products are presented in a single space, where the same design has been adopted throughout: the subtle colours and restrained shapes emphasise the value of the product.”
Architect: Doriana & Massimiliano Fuksas
Client: Gruppo Giorgio Armani
Structural Engineering: Gilberto Sarti
Project consultant on the site: Davide Stolfi