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Interior lighting design of Armani flagship store in Tokyo Ginza

Speirs + Major first began their association with Giorgio Armani on the flagship store in Tokyos Ginza district. Since then, the designers have worked on successive Armani stores in Milan, Beijing and Hong Kong. The opening of Armani Fifth Avenue was timed to coincide with New York fashion week in February 2009 and built to a very tight deadline. Working with Fuksas Architects , Speirs + Major proposed a cinematic LED fa?ade that would wrap the store in a semi-transparent veil. See video. Due to regulations that restricted the use of overt commercial signage, the fa?ade was conceived as a low-resolution art screen, only subtly promoting the Armani message. The LED screen is composed of a series of vertical, mirror-polished bars that wrap around the sides of the buildings top three floors. The spacing between the bars increases along the length of the building. The purpose was to create a high-definition image at the corner of the building, which gradually dissolves down the length of the store. This approach preserved the transparency of the glass facade and was approved by the Manhattan planning department. Content on the screen is updated on a six monthly cycle to match the fashion calendar with themes associated to the brand. Staircase The interior is dominated by the impressive sculptural staircase that links the floors both physically and aesthetically. The organic form twists upwards like a plume of smoke drifting through the store. Various techniques were tested for how to light this complicated form. In the end a simple solution was chosen: strips of LEDs are integrated into the handrail. The warm light bouncing off the treads casts a creamy glow that generates safe light levels and highlights the sculptural form. Merchandising Within the retail space, white walls and reflective black floors set a high-contrast tone. The lighting is designed to pick out each item of clothing as if it were a sacred statue. The essence of the Fifth Avenue scheme was to evolve and perfect a merchandising approach that had begun in Ginza in 2007. It was essential for lighting equipment to be concealed at all times. A special ceiling slot system was developed to produce punchy accent light while keeping the fittings hidden from view. Restaurant The restaurant is a lesson in restraint. Here, the lighting is tightly integrated with the architecture and furniture design. The main focus is on the tables; working with Fuksas, the tabletops were sandblasted to act as reflectors. Light is bounced off the surfaces on to diners faces to create a flattering effect. The media fa?ade also played a role in adding atmosphere. For this space only, the bars outside were fitted with LEDs facing inwards towards the restaurant, but concealed behind semi-opaque curtains to soften the light and filter views of the street below. The effect is of a diffuse, smoky background, wrapping the diners in subtle, slow moving patterns. Restaurant approach A curved wall leads diners into the restaurant. Programmable LEDs warm white at lunchtime, red during the evening reveal the extent of the wall. The LEDs are programmed to create a slight, undulating movement, like a curtain blowing in the wind. Motion sensors pick up the movement of people passing and animate the LEDs so a ripple of light appears to be caused by their draught. Speirs +2009 + FAFA LED LED 2007 LED LEDLEDLED

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