DESIGN

Galeries Lafayette Store Designed By Bjarke Ingels To Open On Champs-Élysées

Galerie Lafayette in Boulevard Haussmann
(Photo : Reuters/Charles Platiau) French department store chain Galerie Lafayette is set to open its newest and biggest store along Champ Elysees

According to ArchDaily, Danish architect Bjarke Ingels has received a commission from the French department store chain, Galeries Lafayette to design a new store on Paris' famed Champs-Élysées. The firm will be renovating an existing Art Deco bank building and transform it into a 7,000-square-meter department store.

The department store chain said that its vision is to turn the historic site into “the department store of the 21st century.”

“We are inheriting a big, beautiful building that has been there for a century. So we are mostly moving around within it and playing with elements that have already been established. And I think it is going to feel like a joyful and playful environment for people to shop,” said Ingels in an interview with Business of Fashion.

“It has to be, somehow, the biggest concept store that has been built on the Champs-Élysées,” said Nicolas Houze, chief executive officer of Galeries Lafayette, in the same interview.

The store will feature a flexible event space with translucent flooring. It will also have an observatory that looks out onto the main avenue and a restored skylight.

“The restoration of a concealed skylight will be treated in a modern way, not as a replication of the iconic Boulevard Haussmann cupola,” said Ingels. “We are taking that element and letting it bleed out across the store, so that the lighting behaves in a similar way as when the clouds move over Paris.”

Ingels' firm BIG was chosen from a group of four leading architectural firms. Although the firm lacks any traditional record in retail design, BIG has created an identity in designing imposing structures such as the Via 57 on West 57th Street in Manhattan and Google’s future Silicon Valley campus which features glass roof buildings.

The store is set to open in 2018.

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