The company Stella K, specialized in the design and distribution of prêt-à-porter, occupies two floors in Avenue des Champs-Elysees. It calls upon the skills of Pascal Grasso Architectures to assist in the project realization.
The issue is simple: to turn these levels into office space and showroom for its clients. A major constraint remains unsolved. How to take advantage of the two corridors that are more than 35m (115 ft) each, leading to the main spaces? The origin of the project consists therefore in the transformation of these long corridors in a functional and atypical space, the strain of the place becoming its strength.
These corridors, being originally simple passages, become the display area, the showroom itself. Its use allows to display clothing and other fashion accessories. This new feature is made possible by the clamping of random volumes made of gray lacquered MDF. These volumes are like pieces of the wall that have been extruded. The rhythm, created by the volumes, increases along the showroom before fading gradually to the office. The effect boosting the space.
Another strong element structures and animates this place. This is a main piece of furniture, passing by through the place, which is separating the public space of the exhibition from the space for private offices and storage. Its way begins from over the reception, allowing the necessary porosity to host clients. Then it gets denser in order to make the offices more intimate. This piece of furniture is made out of racks that allow the storage of supplies. It ends in the assembly hall and takes on the functions of exhibition and storage.
To complete the dynamics of the space, a subtle play of light is set up for both levels. At the first level the suspensions form falling tears from the ceiling. They create plays of light reflecting from more or less bright surfaces. The organic appearance is in contrast with the geometry of the installation. Upstairs, the strips of fluorescent tube boost the effect of perspective created by the length of the showroom. They reinforce the geometric rigor of the space.
Geometry, by its (overwhelming) presence, transforms the space, blurring the bench-marks. The scale of the place becomes difficult to grasp. The intervention is seen as a series of spatial devices provoking disorder, disruption of the senses, a reaction which changes the perception and feeling. Geometric abstraction is enhanced by the lighting, which makes this negative space into an immaterial space.