The 7,000-square-foot, three-level Jil Sander boutique on East 57th Street is considered the first phase in a project that will ultimately encompass the entire six stories of the existing building by adding offices and showrooms. The store reflects a commitment to restraint and attention to detail. The functional needs of the retail enterprise were considered in relation to the brand’s will to express a sense of modern, casual refinement. The boutique interior is the result of a careful re-proportioning of spatial volumes; three of the existing building’s floor plates were removed and repositioned to accommodate the new spatial and programmatic narrative.
Dramatic double-height entry and triple-height, backlit stair atriums accentuate the vertical flow through the store. Limestone floors projecting a delicate warmth and nickel silver display frames help to define the spare clarity of the interior space. The floating west wall penetrates each of the three stories, reinforcing the sense of vertical continuity and guiding the customer through the space from front to back. It functions simultaneously as display wall and ambient light source.
The existing limestone façade was carefully dismantled and reconfigured to form a more balanced composition. This subtle intervention was intended as a respectful gesture to a neighborhood streetscape that has undergone significant changes in the past decade. The revival of the building’s historic facade reaffirms the client’s belief that old and new elements can coexist and even complement each other through provocative contrasts.