Armani Fifth Avenue LED Screen

New York, United States


Allan Toft
Leisure and Retail

Product + Innovation

Speirs + Major first began their association with Giorgio Armani on the flagship store in Tokyo’s Ginza district. Since then, the designers have worked on successive Armani stores in collaboration with Fuksas Architects. The opening of Armani Fifth Avenue was timed to coincide with New York fashion week in February 2009 and built to a very tight deadline.

The façade
For the New York concept Speirs + Major proposed a cinematic LED façade that would wrap the store in a semi-transparent veil. See video. Due to strict planning regulations that restricted the use of overt commercial signage, the façade was conceived as a low-resolution art screen, only subtly promoting the Armani message. “This was a way of communicating with the city,” explained Doriana Fuksas. “And it is also meant to invite people inside.”

The screen itself is composed of a series of vertical, mirror-polished bars, which accommodate LED pixels and surround the sides of the building’s top three floors. The spacing between the bars increases along the length of the building, from 200mm at one end to as much as 3200mm at the far end of 56th Street. The purpose was to create maximum impact at the corner of the store, with the image gradually dissolving down the length of the store. This methodically planned approach preserved the transparency of the glass facade and was approved by the Manhattan planning department.

The LED bars are slightly rounded with a radius that provides a 150-degree viewing angle so they can be seen from far down the street. Media content on the screen is updated on a six monthly cycle to match the fashion calendar with themes associated to the brand.

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