The attention to detail – from the vast array of lighting options to the variety of innovative materials employed – clever use of space and proportion, and of course the notion that there is beauty in simplicity, are all evident in the latest flagship store (and the first in London) from the late Azzedine Alaïa on London’s Bond Street. Just as they are in the work of the master fashion designer himself.
Spanning three floors and 6,000 sq ft, the flagship takes its cue from the Paris stores and showcases artwork from renowned international artist Kris Ruhs and pendants from designer Marc Newson.
Working closely with the architect Aukett Swanke, lighting designer Nulty created a solution that maintains the high level of aesthetic for the brand’s clientele with lighting interventions purposefully kept to a minimum in order to retain focus on the merchandise and artwork.
Upon entering the stores customers are greeted by a clean, bright and airy space. Large Pelota ring-like luminaire pendants hang from the ceiling and radiate a diffuse light from above while a burnished metal and glass staircase spirals through the three floors and is framed either side by an eye-catching chrome feature light sheet.
Clean and spacious fitting rooms feature large ceiling mounted light boxes, adorned with intricate artwork and defined by a perimeter line of crisp light. Windows with sheer blinds have light integrated within the joinery that wraps the framework and exudes a soft glow as daylight falls outside.
The lighting design continues into the lift, where artwork has been printed onto plexiglass and back illuminated by horizontal, scattered LED luminaires, which resemble a deconstructed ladder. The grand stone façade at the front of the store is celebrated with miniature uplights that are integrated on the inside of the window framework to accentuate the verticals and curves of the original architecture.
For flexibility a lighting control system was installed to allow for different scenes for different times of day within the main retail spaces, lift and changing rooms. Intermediate Lighting Designer, Rebecca Hodge said of the project: “The attention to detail within the project is second to none and adds to the uniqueness and identity of the store. From the lighting design in the lift, to the bespoke light boxes in the changing room, every element has been beautifully considered.”
Azzedine Alaïa passed away at the age of 77 in November of last year. A retrospective of his work – Azzedine Alaïa: The Couturier – is currently being shown at The Design Museum in Islington until 7 October 2018
Images: Courtesy of Nulty