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In a single building, two fashion boutiques Mameg and Maison Martin Margiela built side-by-side, but thanks to the great teamwork of Johnston Marklee & Associates, each of them has a different characters that distinguish one from another.
Linked by a reflected-gold corridor, both boutiques are so close physically and so distinct atmospherically prompted a simple division. With Maison Martin Margiela opening onto the street and Mameg oriented towards a private garden on the alley side, an existing wooden bow truss roof system acts as the datum.
A program bar containing ‘back-of-house’ program frees up the rest of the space. Diverse design vocabularies define the two boutiques.
Mameg invokes the sense of a 19th-century archival library. Simultaneously neutral through its flexibility and full through its occupation, a white shelving system unifies the double-height retail space. Angled vertical supports compose a system of stacked white display boxes to produce a transitory image: it appears that, at any point, a unit could be removed, replaced, or reconfigured.
Taking runway photos, mundane objects, and unique textures, the boutique feels like a theater set. Image layers are plastered onto the existing walls, regardless of previous uses. Large doors are fixed to the walls, and glass cabinets are inserted into cut openings.
Graphic wall paper and films printed with photographs of the original Paris atelier are plastered onto vertical surfaces. A neon sign creates a momentary distraction but reorients all guests to new views. Plastic champagne flutes are constructed into a full-height display tower. The assemblage of these disparate elements continue Maison Martin Margiela’s foray into a deconstructed image.
Architects: Johnston Marklee & Associates
Contractor: Lofton Contracting, Inc.
Lighting Consultant: Kaplan Gehring McCarroll Architectural Lighting
Electrical Engineer: A&F Consulting Engineers
Project Architects: Mark Lee, Sharon Johnston AIA, Katrin Terstegen
Project team: Albert Chu, Robert Garlipp, Nicholas Hofstede
Client: Sonia Eram (Mameg), Staff USA (Maison Martin Margiela)
Photographs: Eric Staudenmaier
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