Alaïa New Bond Street
For his first flagship store in London, far from his elective home in Paris, the Tunisian fashion designer Azzedine Alaïa chooses a very central location on Bond Street to create a space for the display and sale of his collections, on three levels. Designed by Kris Ruhs, a spiral staircase repeats on the three floors, interrupted by landings that pace the three sequences of acid-etched steel steps, organized as independent ramps. Each staircase develops in a semicircle with a parapet in layered glass, topped by an essential metal handrail. The inner core is like a magical continuous structural ribbon that forms the vortex of the central spiral. On the inner side the solid metal ribbon functions as a parapet complementary to the ethereal, transparent outer one, creating an effective contrasting material composition. The glass part also marks the semicircular contour at each level, protecting the opening of the floor slab in which each ramp finds space for its extension. The staircase that crosses the entire space in distinct episodes, part of a single compositional synthesis, is joined by other custom component developed in great detail. For example, surprising “metal curtains” in aluminium function as screen-filters for some of the openings. Like a large botanical structure or a zoomorphic skeleton of a fantastic marine creature, the large aluminium segments overlap to produce an evocative decorative and functional figure. Finally, the garments in the collection are displayed on essential “bridge” fixtures of great graphic impact: elements composed of a continuous chromium- plated tube to form a rectangle with rounded corners, attached to two acid-etched steel uprights as essential supports.
Acid-etched steel, Layered glass, Shaped aluminium
Each staircase develops in a semicircle with a parapet in layered glass, topped by an essential metal handrail. The inner core is like a magical continuous structural ribbon that forms the vortex of the central spiral.