This project won the 2013 Architizer A+ Jury Award in the pop-up category. See the full list of winners here.
We dare anyone to stroll into the exuberantly designed Louis Vuitton - Yayoi Kusama pop-up in London and not walk out of there with a smile. (The fact you can't afford any of the designer duds sitting inside somehow doesn't diminish its giddy pleasures.) Filled with the Japanese artist's signature polka dots—and her surrealist sensibility—this red-and-white pumpkin-shaped store, located in Selfridges London, won the hearts of the A+ Awards jurors, snagging the prize for best pop-up.
Brooklyn-based firm THEVERYMANY, who created the pop-up for Kusama's collaboration with luxury brand Louis Vuitton, based its design on Kusama's popular pumpkin installations and endless polka-dot paintings. A series of pumpkin-like elements—perforated oversized chandeliers; squat podiums that display Kusama's bright, spotted bags; and the round form of the structure itself—intersect and overlap, creating a dizzying, fully immersive environment. The architects applied a "high-resolution perforated gradient pattern" in an attempt to not only utilize the artist's famous dots, but also increase visual depth for "a hypnotic and infinite universe."
Due to the constrictive nature of the retail environment, and the ephemeral nature of the pop-up, THEVERYMANY had to create an efficient assembly method for the design. The result: an extremely lightweight pleated shell structure made with carbon-fiber and pieced together using a modular system with pre-assembled parts. Ingenious!
Beyond the design, the Vuitton-Kusama pop-up is "the world’s first fully carbon-fiber self-supported shell applied to architecture," say the designers in the project statement, "and therefore an important milestone toward larger, economically-sustainable carbon-fiber architectural structures."