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 physical reality of the brand, Pradas virtual presence is simultaneously defined through extensive in-store technology projects and the creation of a website. The combination of these aspects generates an integrated service structure that enables Prada to provide a new sense of exclusivity, but also to reinforce the diverse and intriguing aura of the brand.
The stores are conceived as specific insertions both in relation to the brand and the network of existing 'green' Prada stores, as well as the city and cultural context they are situated in. In contrast to the concept of a classical flagship store the simple enlargement of a generic store, in other words more of the same the new Prada epicenters offer a diversification of the shopping experience: the commercial function is overlaid with a series of experiential and spatial typologies clinic an environment for specialized personal care and service; archive an inventory of current and past collections, trading floor an accumulation of rapidly changing information, new technology applications and e-commerce; library zones of content and knowledge dedicated to the evolution of the fashion system; street a space for multiple activities, liberated from the pressure to buy At a time when commercial activity has invaded all public spaces and cultural institutions, this concept offers a redefinition of exclusivity: the possibility for public functions and programs to reclaim the territory of shopping
The store on Rodeo Drive is a new construction of 24,000 sqft on three storeys plus basement. Because of its location in Los Angeles, the store stands in a specific relation to the New York project, but also through its horizontality and the need to connect mainly two floors. As in New York the floor waves down towards the basement, in Los Angeles the same wooden plane folds up and creates a symmetrical hill that supports a floating aluminum box. Inside this volume, the main store program is organized along its perimeter.
The façade towards Rodeo Drive is literally non-existent without the classical storefront and glass enclosures, the entire width of the store opens up to the street and merges public with commercial space. The climatic separation is achieved through an air-curtain system, invisible security antennas guarantee the control of the store. At night, an aluminum panel rises from the ground and hermetically seals the building.
The third floor is dominated by the scenario space: An open floor plan that is used for changing display arrangements, like an extended idea of a display window, offering ways to present clothes beyond the presence of hangbars and shelves.