words Johanna Agerman
There are no windows in New York-based fashion designer Phillip Lim’s two new stores, one in Tokyo, the other in Los Angeles. Instead the facade of the Tokyo store is covered in frosted white glass, while the LA incarnation is enveloped in pillow-shaped concrete tiles. Giving both locations an air of secrecy and exclusivity – treasure troves waiting to be explored.
The Los Angeles store in West Hollywood is housed in a former auto body shop transformed by New York-based Para Project in collaboration with Leong Architects and Office/Giancarlo Valle. The team worked with contrasts for this site, offsetting the box-like exterior with a series of undulating walls inside. The main space unfolds into four smaller and more intimate rooms, each made distinct with different wall textures. The main space is covered in a pyramidal material that appears hard but is soft to the touch, while the nooks are decorated with wallpaper, Spanish cork, leather herringbone and bamboo. The 465sq m store is topped off with a light-diffusing membrane that appears to float above the rooms, giving a space that could have been claustrophobic a sense of lightness.
The Tokyo concept, which spreads over three floors and covers 245sq m in the Aoyama district, is by Tokyo-based design firm Jamo Associates. The team, interior designer Norito Takahashi and stylist Chinatsu Kambayashi, took inspiration from the sea, playing with references to water, sand and driftwood in the floors and fixtures. The shop’s interior walls are made up of 4,000 concrete blocks, each with a round cut-out filtering the natural light and giving the space a feeling of being submerged underwater. By night the translucent exterior is lit from behind, creating a recognisable landmark in a district dense with international fashion brands’ flagships.
Phillip Lim founded his brand 3.1 Phillip Lim in 2004. The two new stores effectively triple his retail presence, which used to be limited to a site on lower Manhattan’s Mercer Street.
images West Hollywood Iwan Baan
images Tokyo Kozo Takayama