Project: A proposed 5,000-square-foot, two-story retail space on 10th Avenue in West Chelsea, New York.
The Colombian clothing designer Amelia Toro planned to launch her U.S. flagship store in New York City. Situated alongside the Highline, a former train trestle converted into an elevated park, the design for the building offers two potential storefronts on two different elevations. The Eastern facade on 10th Avenue acts as the traditional storefront with a display window. This is the physical entrance for the shopper at street level. The Western facade, level with the roof of the existing building, looks out onto the Highline. This elevated ground provides a penthouse display window and virtual entrance that protrudes from the existing roof. As throngs of locals, tourists and visitors stroll through the elevated park’s promenade, the notion of storefront is altered. Similarly, upon entering the store from 10th Avenue, views of the sky and the Highline are revealed at a diagonal axis. The exterior facade is made of woven cables that begin to unravel into the interior retail space, up through the void to the penthouse. These threads act as connective tissues, engaging dynamic elements of display, while gesturing toward the intersection of the two planes. The pattern used for organization and circulation within the space was inspired by the designs of Amelia Toro, whose styles draw upon techniques of indigenous forms of craft. The store’s display can be suspended in-between floors, in a constant engagement of the upper ground plane with the lower street level below.