Camper SoHo Flagship Store, Project Architect, Shigeru Ban Architects, 2010-2012
Prior to starting Praxes, Ji Young worked for Shigeru Ban Architects’ New York office from 2010 to 2017. From 2010 to 2012, she worked on Camper SoHo Flagship Store as a Project Architect from the beginning of the project to the completion.
image © sánchez y montoro
Key Program Elements: Billboard Display
Seen from the corner of Prince and Greene Streets, one first sees a Red Wall with White Letters boldly displaying the Camper name. It isn’t until one enters the store that one sees a disintegration of the letters and discovers the shoe display revealed in cubbies arranged in a 45 degree angle in plan behind the Red Wall.
House of Shoes
The Existing Building has been gutted to make way for a 1,200 SF Retail Space on the Ground Floor with 1,200 SF of Basement Storage below. Atop the flat roof is Shigeru Ban’s signature Paper Tube Structure in the form of a triangle. The new gable shape celebrates Camper’s first Owner occupied building in New York, thus becoming Camper’s “House of Shoes”.
Seen from the corner of Prince and Greene Streets, one first sees a Red Wall with White Letters boldly displaying the Camper name. It isn’t until one enters the store that one sees a disintegration of the letters and discovers the shoe display revealed in cubbies arranged in a 45-degree angle in plan behind the Red Wall. The 45-degree angle is echoed in a polished concrete floor with epoxy red stripes and a corrugated metal ceiling that is red on one side and white on the other. At the far end of the space is a mirror that simultaneously allows one to see a reflection of the white-sided elements of both the shoe display and the ceiling that is in sharp contracts to the red, when seen from the front.
In the space is a white seating area/shoe display made up of from elements of the Shigeru Ban’ 10-Unit-System, manufactured by Artek and black floor stand light fixtures, called Yumi by FontanaArte.
The original non-historic pseudo-traditional façade was altered by removing the existing bulkheads under each window and was replaced with sliding glass doors enabling multiple entry points to the store. When the doors are slid open the building becomes a completely connected to the street, enlivening the street and acting like a covered bazaar. This feature to open to the street energizes the Soho district in a manner similar to the outdoor bazaar that exists at Spring and Wooster Streets
At the far end of the store is moss covered cash wrap, with green colored shoe display behind. This hint of color emphasizes a sense of nature and makes reference to the outside world further blurring the distinction between inside and outside.
Design Ingenuity- Sliding Doors
To completely open the store to the street, stackable sliding doors were employed. Shigeru Ban Architects worked directly with the manufacture build on and innovate with existing manufacturer technology to provide a weather tight seals to meet current energy code requirements.
On the interior, the Camper Brand- logo and colors-generate the integrated design intent. The shoe display, ceiling and floor design, emerge from the angled branded wall. Viewed from Prince Street, the red angled shelving unifies the CAMPER name, and conceals the display of shoes. Viewed from Greene Street, the white angled shelving breaks the C A M P E R name to reveal the display of shoes. The 45 degree, angled shelving wall, is echoed in a red striped concrete floor and corrugated metal ceiling, of alternating red and white stripes. At the far end of the space, a mirrored wall reflects back the white elements, although one is looking directly at red elements.
The store design is a single, unified idea; a spatial perception, which enlarges a small space and is the celebration of a brand.