January 10, 2020

The Galeries Lafayette Flagship by BIG – Bjarke Ingels Group

Department stores in Paris have been as much about spectacle as shopping. Like the city’s boulevards, les grands magasins were belle epoque catwalks where the bourgeoisie came to see and be seen. When Galeries Lafayette opened its mag­nificent art nouveau store on Boulevard Haussmann in 1912, it became an icon, both com­mercially and architecturally.

The brand’s new location, in a 1932 building, dazzles contemporary flaneurs. Partners Bjarke Ingels and Jakob Sand of BIG – Bjarke Ingels Group restored the historic cupola and grand staircase, while designing a series of vignettes that unfold across the four-story, 73,200-square-foot flagship. “The raw space has an almost urban scale and character,” Ingels notes, with room for “even the wildest interventions.”

a grand staircase in the new flagship of Galeries Lafayette
Photography by Marco Cappelletti.

A 32-foot glass tunnel takes visitors into the dramatic atrium, where a perforated gold-finished steel ring wraps around marble columns and links retail displays on the next floor. Suspended steel-and-glass boxes, cantilevered above, draw eyes up to rotating designer installations. The entire store employs visual tricks: Shoes perch on undulating carpets that double as seating; glasses in stacked fiberglass boxes swerve before a mirror. The immersive design aims to draw shoppers offline, creating a place for gawkers, tourists, and stylish locals to gather—and spend.

looking down to the hexagonal flooring surrounded by columns at Galeries Lafayette
Photography by Marco Cappelletti.
orange fabric shelves lead toward shoe displays at Galeries Lafayette
Photography by Matthieu Salvaing.
the exterior of Galeries Lafayette in Paris
Photography by Marco Cappelletti.
a mirror reflects the wall of sunglass shelves in Galeries Lafayette
Photography by Michel Florent.
a LED-encased walkway to Galeries Lafayette
Photography by Salem Mostefaoui.

Project Team: Karim Muallem; Gabrielle Nadeau; Xavier Delanoue; Francesca Portesine; Pauline Lavie-Luong; Agla Sigridur Egilsdottir; Alvaro Maestro García; Amro Abdelsalam; Anis Souissi; Anna Juzak; Aurelie Frolet; Catalina Rivera; Christian Lopez; Clementine Huck; Dimitrie Grigorescu; Emily Pickett; Emine Halefoglu; Enea Michelesio; Ethan Duffey; Étienne Duval; Filip Milovanovic; Francisco Javier Sarria Salazar; Gerhard Pfeiler; Hugo Yun Tong Soo;
Hye-Min Cha; Jakob Lange; Janie Green; Joanna M. Lesna; José Carlos De Silva; Katarzyna Swiderska; Laurent De Carnière; Lucas Stein; Lucian Racovitan; Malgorzata Mutkowska; Marie Lancon; Miguel Rebelo; Monika Dauksaite; Paula Domka; Philip Rufus Knauf; Quentin Blasing; Rahul Girish; Ramona Montecillo; Raphael Ciriani; Sergi Sauras I Collado; Stefano Zugno; Taylor Fulton; Terrence Chew; Thomas Sebastian Krall; Thomas Smith; Tomas Karl Ramstrand; Tracy Sodder; Yesul Cho.

> See more from the December/January 2020 issue of Interior Design

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