Designer: Rafael de Cárdenas Ltd./Architecture at Large
A façade that sets the mood and tells a story is an important part in building brand awareness. Before entering the Baccarat crystal flagship store in Manhattan, customers get a sense of the luxury and craftsmanship inside with a single glance at the exquisite store front.
The storefront and interior wear the signature of Rafael de Cárdenas, well known for his clean designs and avant-garde elements. During its more than 250 years of existence, Baccarat has become synonymous with style and tradition, yet the designer’s innovative style is a perfect match for this French company whose longevity is an art in itself.
The façade uses a point-supported glass system that allows for maximum visibility of the store interior. Spanning the store’s two stories, the etched glass-frit wall is an artistic take on the very techniques of crystal cutting and faceting. A triangle pattern creates a 3-D effect and mimics the sharp yet graceful angles of crystal and its dynamic reflections.
The light from inside lends depth to the two-dimensional surface and adds to the glamorous effect. The alternation between transparent and semi-transparent triangles allows passers-by to peek in, yet retains a sense of things to be discovered that brings customers in. This is a perfect way to define a brand and attract customers with smart design choices.
The rigorous geometric pattern suggests the precision and meticulousness involved in Baccarat’s artisanal craftsmanship. However, the overall effect is elegant and ethereal, a testimonial of what goes into creating a thing of beauty. Beyond the façade, the luxury crystal pieces seem to continue the story started by the store front, with the same perfect combination of precision and art.
Learn about emerging trends of 2015 in commercial interior design HERE.
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