Los Angeles, CA
Located near the Melrose shopping neighborhood, the new 3.1 Phillip Lim store and showroom announces the designer’s west coast debut with the transformation of 5,000 square foot auto body shop into a flowing interior. The experience is a curious indulgence taking clients from the sunny LA sky into the intimate ambiance of Phillip Lim.
By introducing a thick curving wall within the existing building envelope one large main space unfolds into four smaller niches. Mirrors along the walls expand the spatiality of the store and create visual continuity between adjacent spaces.
Like the construction of a garment, the curving wall has an inner ‘lining’ and outer ‘lining.’ The pyramidal texture on the walls is actually soft to the touch creating a sensation of being both hard and soft. The smaller niche spaces are each lined with different materials; wallpaper, Spanish cork, leather herringbone, and bamboo creating a variety of tactile vignettes for the clothing to be displayed in.
As an alternative to the typical window display, the exterior façade has no openings except the entrance. Instead of windows, the façade is surfaced in a stark yet supple pattern of concrete tiles shaped like pillows. The emphasis of the blank façade acts like a ‘palette cleanser’ as one transitions from the bustle of the streetscape to the intimate interior.
The curving geometry and thickness of the wall allows for the conventional methods of lighting and display to be rethought. With most of the spotlights within the thickness of the wall, the ceiling is free of the clutter of typical track lighting. A single, continuous light-diffusing membrane floats above the space adding to the intimate atmosphere while giving the space a sense of lightness.
With PARA-Project & Office Valle
Project team: Brian Price, Dominic Leong, Jonathan Lott, Giancarlo Valle
All photos © Iwan Baan