Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Barneys Sparkles in Dallas

Fashion retailer opens large flagship store at NorthPark, designed by Gensler


Jones Apparel Group Inc. (Bristol, Pa.) has opened its new Barneys New York flagship store at Dallas’ NorthPark Center.

The 88,000-square-foot space was designed by Gensler (San Francisco) in tandem with the Barneys in-house design team. It’s the luxury fashion retailer's third-largest flagship location (after New York and Beverly Hills, Calif.). However, in a departure from its usual presence in upscale urban settings, the new Barneys is located in a mall.

The exterior of the space is highlighted by a sculptural glowing steel and glass “light box” embedded in the store's expansive 35-foot white brick façade. Gensler collaborated with fine artists, including sculptor John Paul Phillipe and decorative artist Jonathan Adler, in developing both the exterior and interior designs.

"The design of Barneys New York in Dallas is architecture at the service of retail," said Lance Boge, Gensler's design director for the new store. "In drawing on the recognizable sculptural forms created by artist John-Paul Phillipe for Barneys internationally, we've designed a façade as a piece of sculpture and even established an architectural branded doorway into Barneys — a façade that is art, architecture and brand."

Phillipe is a long-time Barneys' collaborator who created the signature steel sculpture at Barneys' Tokyo location, among others. “The creative synthesis of artist and architect resulted in a visually striking glass and steel curtainwall vestibule structure that transparently encases a multi-dimensional steel sculpture,” said Boge. “The structure functions as the major external entrance to the store, transforming the building itself into a work of sculpture. A bold red cantilevered steel slab emerges from the entrance structure to create an elegant red porte cochere awning balancing above and defining a waiting area for valet parking.”

Inside, Gensler defined its task as capturing the taste, luxury and humor of the Barneys brand while creating an environment with its own personality. “The iconic style of Barneys New York is a perfect fit for Dallas' fashion-conscious consumer," said Jeff Henry, Gensler's interior design director for the store. "Designed to flow effortlessly, the major interior elements—floors, walls, ceilings—work together to create a sculptural stage that supports the unique merchandise and witty presentations. Wrapped around all of this are sumptuous materials that assert the Barneys New York unmistakable point of view."

Spiraling between the two floors, the wood, limestone, and steel staircase forms a directional focal point for shoppers. The stair's steel structure is built with the same cut shapes as the exterior sculpture; the railing features glass etched with a pattern that also references the exterior. Supported by a single steel beam, the stairway is light and transparent, cascading down and culminating midway with a platform to be used as an ad hoc runway for fashion events.

The interior features such luxury materials and finishes as Italian plaster, end-grain oak flooring, hammered steel, Lucite, ombred-limestone mosaics, and black-stained oak with gold cerusing. To emphasize the fine art theme throughout the store and mall, four artists (Carter Kustera, Terrence Gower, Adler and Phillipe) contributed original artwork including mixed-media and painted murals and silhouettes, sculpture, ceramic artwork, and even custom furnishings and interior design for the new personal shopping area.

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