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BUILDING
 
 
Alessi Flagship Store
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DESIGNER
 
 
Asymptote
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DESCRIPTION
 
Asymptote Architecture Designs First Alessi Flagship Store in New York City
Asymptote Alessi New YorkAsymptote Architecture has completed a new flagship store for Alessi, the famed, family-owned Italian design factory, in a 2,750-square-foot space at 130 Greene Street in the heart of SoHo. It is Alessi's first flagship store in New York City. Alberto Alessi, the director of the company responsible for transforming Alessi into a trendsetting design company beginning in the 1970s, personally engaged Asymptote principals Hani Rashid and Lise Anne Couture to develop a new store concept and graphic identity for the Alessi brand in the New York location. "Alessi is a world-recognized brand that set a new standard for design objects in the 1980s with the production of iconic work from critical, postmodern architects ranging from Aldo Rossi to Michael Graves. In subsequent years, a highly unique and respected image for the company evolved from the creativity and insight of Alessandro Mendini and his strong relationship with Alberto Alessi. We set out to expand upon the Alessi brand's terrific legacy and find a way to put it on a new trajectory going forward," explains Rashid. To engender this new identity for the Alessi brand, Asymptote envisioned the store as a light-saturated, sculptural, dreamlike environment that takes its cue from fluid and dynamic movement, a radical shift away from the postmodern staples of graphic motif, vivid coloration and iconographic and symbolic form. Asymptote's design approach was to produce a space that reads as infinitely deep and transforming, effectively metamorphosing the narrow, asymmetrical space that was secured as a prime location for the new SoHo flagship store. To create this effect, Asymptote worked with New York-based lighting designers Tillotson Design Associates to accentuate the continuity of the space. This result was achieved by introducing a system of nine successive bands of white light that run vertically up the north wall of the store and continue horizontally across the ceiling within suspended geometrical boxes of varying shapes and sizes. The design also incorporates mirrors on the store's east wall and a long espresso bar, the first in any Alessi store worldwide, at the entrance that visually extends the space inwards and draws attention to the shopping areas. The result is an intimate space that feels open and generous and employs a powerful visual coherence throughout. This sense of order and elegance stems from Asymptote having designed every aspect of the store, including the bent-steel display systems, a co-production between Alessi and Visplay (a subsidiary of Vitra), as well as the wall graphics, packaging design and internal and graphic design elements.
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VIDEO
 
 
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LOCATION
 
Continent
North America
Nation
United States
State
New York
Metropolitan area
New York City
County
New York
Town
New York - Manhattan
Borough
Manhattan
Address
130 Greene Street
 
 
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MAP
 
 
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TYPOLOGY
 
Main
ARCHITECTURE
Commercial buildings
Shops
Showrooms
Additional
ARCHITECTURE
Commercial buildings
Bars, cafeterias
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CHRONOLOGY
 
Project
2005    
Realisation
2006
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AWARDS
 
2007
AIA New York Chapter Design Award
2007
Travel + Leisure Magazine's Best Retail Space
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BIBILIOGRAPHIC REFERENCES
 
 
Suzanne Stephens, "Alessi household objects store, New York", Architectural record 9/2007, september 2007, pp. 138-141
Philip Jodidio, US architecture in the United States, Taschen, London 2006
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CLIENT
 
 
Alessi
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DIMENSIONAL
DATA
 
Surface
floor area sq.m. 982 (sq.ft. 2.750)
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STRUCTURES
 
 
Robert Silman Associates
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STAFF
 
Lighting consultant
Tillotson Design Associates
Systems
Kam Chiu Associates
Contractor
Fountainhead Construction
 
 
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