Arising at a period of shift fromexperiential retail shopping to the technological world of online shopping,this project is an effort to revive the authenticity, storytelling, andinnovation needed to create a true emotional connection to a luxury fashionstore located in the SoHo district of New York City.
Created for and in collaboration with Fashion Designer ErinGoodman, the store is designed with the concept of disease and cancer presentin her Spring 2012 collection. Thequestion became how to present the grotesque notion of disease in an objectiveand beautiful manner. Architect PeterEisenmann suggests in his essay En TerrorFirma; In Trails of Grotextes;
“Architecture must displace the former waysof conceptualizing itself,” and “requires a more complex form of the beautiful,one which contains he ugly, or a rationality that contains theirrational.”
This meant that tore-engage the luxury shopper the traditional store must be subverted; and theexperience must embrace the uncertain, the unphysical, and the unnatural, allwithin a framework that is familiar and certain.
The solution is anaggressive architecture that disintegratesthe program and structure of the building much like cancer does to the humanbody. The language of the buildingrelates to deconstructivist ideas of “trace,” “twoness,” “betweeness,” and“interiority/anteriority” to create a sublime experience for the user. The retail store is in the literal andmetaphysical center of the building, and the user ascends past the studioworkspace to bear witness to the act of making as they proceed up through thepublic atrium. These are part of theactive program that demanded to be separated volumes suspended haphazardly inthe internal atrium. The subservientprograms lay in a gridded structure that envelopes and creates an internal void. In the instance of their intersection, thestructure of the outer body is compromised and replaced by that of the disease. In this way, the two systems aresuccessfully integrated and relianton one another for structural wholeness. The disease infiltrates from within and demands control,ultimately killing itself.