Castle Couture: David Chipperfield Designs Valentino's NYC Flagship

Snapshot: World renowned British architect David Chipperfield has employed his grand signature style to create a fitting monument to fashion royalty with his design for Valentino's NYC flagship store.

Of all the face lifts on Fifth Avenue in New York City, the highly anticipated new Valentino flagship store may be the most fitting. Designed by British architect David Chipperfield, best known for designing monumental cultural institutions, the mirrored metal facade stands out amongst it's brick and mortar neighbors, and imposes it's heady authority. Eight floors of steel and aluminum bars stand at attention outside the former Takashimaya Department Store, the bottom three floors featuring a brass finish as well as a lantern, a clock, and the Valentino logo - recognizable symbols of authority and longevity.

Within the store, a monolithic atrium of monochrome terrazzo opens up into the vast space, and prominently features a heavy grand stair that allows a view of the impressive entrance from all the store's levels. Brass shelving and oak display cases house accessories on the first floor, arranged in deference to weighty columns and pure volumes of marble that act both as architectural plinths and furniture. This sparse design, also found in the Man Store on the third level, is a Store Concept found in other Valentino retail settings that focuses on architecture rather than decoration, showcasing the intrinsic materiality of the interior architecture which in turn compliments and highlights the products and the brand's dedication to craftsmanship.

Sandwiched between the palazzo like levels of Accessory and Man, is of course the Woman Store - slightly variegated in concept but harmonious with the rest of the space. The grey Venetian terrazzo found throughout the building is present, but a few more elements like leather, carpet, and carbon fibrer enhance a series of rooms each  with a distinct atmosphere curated for different types of merchandise.

Chipperfield's architectural design represents permanence and purity, dovetailing perfectly with the Valentino Store Concept of internal architecture, and creating the perfect backdrop to the legacy and longevity of the brand.

Photography by Santi Caleca