Armani Fifth Avenue

New York, United States


Fuksas Architects


Allan Toft

Ramon Pratt


Award of Excellence, IES Illumination Awards 2010
Leisure and Retail

Architecture + Environment

The opening of Armani Fifth Avenue was timed to coincide with New York fashion week in February 2009.

To preserve the transparency and the artistic intention in respect of planning conditions for 5th Avenue, we developed a unique light façade from a series of vertical, mirror-polished bars that ‘dissolve’ into the architecture of the building and become increasingly sparse along the building’s W56th Street Elevation.

The façade displays a defined image at the corner of the building, gradually de-materialising along the length of the store, creating a show-stopping cinematic light façade that wraps the store in a semi-transparent veil. The lit image of the veil is aligned with the brands’ fashion calendar.

The interior floors are linked to one another via a sculptural staircase, drifting in form like a plume of smoke. We used light to define the image and experience of the staircase, with apparently invisible sources creating a soft glow that highlights form and provides safe light levels. Within the high contrast retail space, concealed light pin points each item of clothing as if it were a revered cultural object.

The restaurant represents the pinnacle of the Armani 5th Avenue experience and is a flattering environment for both lunch and dinner guests. The light composition balances privacy and glamour by bouncing a warm golden light from the tables on to diners’ faces. Minimal light between the tables allows them to float elegantly within a dark sea. The space is enveloped by diffuse, slow moving patterns from the façade’s light veil – adapted to face inwards in the restaurant, and concealed behind semi-opaque curtains. A light on the curved wall, leading diners into the restaurant ripples like a billowing sail in the wind, triggered by guests passing by.

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