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Azure - - CONTENTS - WORDS _El­iz­a­beth Pagli­a­colo

Rafael de Cár­de­nas tai­lors a 3D fa­cade for fash­ion re­tailer Kenzo

When the fash­ion la­bel Kenzo opened its first store in Seoul, in the city’s trendy Gang­nam district, it wanted to make a big im­pres­sion. To that end, the youth­ful, Lvmh-owned brand turned to Rafael de Cár­de­nas – the New York de­signer known for his eye­pop­ping, colour-gra­di­ent in­te­ri­ors, in­stal­la­tions and fur­nish­ings – to craft a unique fa­cade. De Cár­de­nas’s stu­dio, Ar­chi­tec­ture at Large, de­vel­oped nu­mer­ous con­cepts; Kenzo, he re­calls, chose the most chal­leng­ing one. “The pro­jected-cones con­cept was evoca­tive and ap­peal­ing, but at the time, we had no idea how to make it,” says the de­signer.

In or­der to pre­serve the build­ing’s stone cladding and ir­reg­u­lar win­dows, de Cár­de­nas over­laid a mod­u­lar me­tal grid on the ex­te­rior. The plas­tic cones – 862 of them po­si­tioned at a 20-de­gree an­gle to re­sem­ble a tai­lor’s rack of yarn spools – are at­tached to rods that have been welded to this alu­minum frame. The de­sign is prac­ti­cal: The me­tal pan­els can be eas­ily re­moved for ser­vic­ing. And when the fa­cade needs clean­ing, it’s sim­ply hosed down. Most of all, it has wow fac­tor: The vi­brant green is “un­usual and eye-catch­ing, but also so­phis­ti­cated and el­e­vated,” says de Cár­de­nas. And the mass­ing of hol­low, pro­jec­tile vol­umes cre­ates a multi-di­men­sion­al­ity that can be en­joyed from var­i­ous per­spec­tives, out­side the store and within it. ar­chi­tec­ture­at­

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