PRADA SAN FRANCISCO, USA, SAN FRANCISCO, Pradas West Coast Epicenter
Project:Pradas West Coast EpicenterClient:Prada (I.P.I. USA Corp.)Year:2000Status:CommissionType:RetailLocation:Kearny Market Mason SutterDistrict, San FranciscoSite:On the corner of Post Streetand Grant Avenue, SanFranciscoProgram:Retail location, Prada westcoast headquarters andpenthouse (total area:4,000m2)
The Harvard Gsd Guide to Shopping isa two-year student-based researchproject, on the current state and futureimplications of shopping in the world,which Koolhaas carried out in 1999.Shopping is arguably the last remainingform of public activity. The HarvardGuide to Shopping, made by theHarvard Graduate School of Design andOMA, explores the spaces, people,techniques, ideologies, and inventionsby which shopping has so dramaticallyrefashioned the city at the turn of thecentury
• The new 10 story building in downtown San Francisco [corner of Post Street and Grant Avenue] close to Union Square will be Prada`s Headquarters on the West Coast. Two floating cubes on top of each other contain on 39,000 sq. ft both store program and offices, along with showrooms, gallery spaces and a VIP penthouse at the top. A public viewing terrace and coffee bar separates both cubes on the 6th floor level.
• The size of the openings is designed according to the force flow in these structural steel plates, which are able to absorb all horizontal forces in case of earthquakes and guarantee the structural integrity of the building. What emerges is a quality totally new to the current condition of shopping: the presence of daylight. The facade is no longer blocking out all light but filters and distributes it through various translucent materials inside the space: polycarbonate, colored resin, exclusively developed porous-transparent polyurethane panels etc. Products are displayed against the light, in x-ray like conditions, or profit in a more classic arrangement from the evenly dispersed natural glow. In contrast to the notorious blindness of today`s malls and department stores, daylight reenters the territory of shopping.• half matter and half air the spongy matter designed for prada, provides a porous artificial background for merchandise
• In architectural terms the building is a manifesto on the skyscraper: A series of floor plates with totally unique characters are stacked on top of each other and wrapped with a mysterious and neutral skin that reveals a sense of the inner diversity without giving it all away. This facade is made out of stainless steel panels that are perforated with about 10,000 round holes, windows ranging between 2.5 - 9 inches in diameter.
• The projects for the Italian fashion company Prada span from research on shopping and new concepts for Prada as a brand to the creation of three big stores in the United states. But beyond restructuring the built reality of the brand, Pradas virtual presence is simultaneously defined through extensive in-store technology projects and the creation of a website.• A series of experiential and service-oriented features enhances both functioning and aura of the stores. The dressing rooms are equipped with `magic mirrors`: A plasma screen invisibly built into the large mirror surface that allows customers to see themselves both from the front and the back at the same time. An integrated time delay can even capture and replay movements.
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