• Project: Balenciaga George V
  • Client: Balenciaga
  • Location: Paris
  • Year: 2023
  • Department: Architecture
  • Typology: Cultural, Commercial
  • Program: Retail, Fashion show
  • Scope: Restoration, Facade, Interior, Furniture, Lighting
  • Design Status: Completed
  • Surface: 550 m²

The Balenciaga Couture Store and Salon is located at 10-12 Avenue George V, at the same address where Cristóbal Balenciaga operated between 1937 and 1968. In the decades after it closed, the building underwent extensive modernization. The design strategy was driven by an attempt to restore the original character of the building, a conceit that required rethinking the meaning of originality to produce a deceptive replica of the former space using archival materials as a reference. The ground floor houses the Couture Store in two smoked glass volumes that were inserted into the reconstructed Haussmannian façade, establishing a stark contrast between the historic architecture and the interior. Inside, vitrines fitted with pneumatic hardware doors and light-filtering technical glass, house the garments and frame the naked walls of the original building, at once exposing and protecting the original wall surfaces. A small elevator upholstered in red leather connects the ground level to the first floor, which houses the Couture Salon. The upper space features sculptural arabesques framing doorways and mirrors, treated with a flat and dusty white finish and accentuated with duchess curtains. The space, structured in an enfilade of rooms, is decorated with urn lamps and neoclassical sofas, alongside gold-painted chairs to emulate historical photographs. All surfaces feature various aging treatments, as if the space were left untouched since 1968.

  • Client Representative: Demna Gvasalia
  • Design team: Andrea Faraguna, Niklas Bildstein Zaar, Assaf Kimmel, Alexei Haddad, Roula Assaf, Paul Haase, Mary Lynch-Lloyd, Chris Leeuw, Andreas Lönn Grill, David Tasman
  • Photos: Annik Wetter, Stéphane Aït Ouarab