Galeries Lafayette

Address: Französische Straße 23 | BERLIN | Germany | Visit Website
Latitude/Longitude: 52.5148, 13.3895

The presence of a department-store on a major throughway should be an event and be attractive.  The passer-by should feel called out-to on the pavement.  The shop, itself a public interior space, should extend the public exterior space of Friedrichstrasse.

The reading is through depth and layering.  From the street, the space at ground level is free, devoid of any wall.  The dematerialisation of the corner allows motorists or pedestrians to see cones of light, of which the larger one quivers, vibrates, flashing rays of colors.  The reading of the structure of the spaces on different levels is simple.  It allows each person to know at any given moment where they are and where they are going.  The two big mirrored cones in the central space are objects of fascination, where according to different themes, messages and images race across surfaces, and using an inverted process of anamorphosis, a precise image deforms and invades the ensemble of mirrored surfaces.

These moving, deformed image-massages are completed by other perfectly controlled and precise images on two big screens, on Friedrichstrasse and Franzosische Strasse.

The screen-printed façade in progressive mirrored grids allows signs to appear through triangular halos (resonating with the cones) or rectangular halos (formatted to the screen). The offices are perforated by cones of white light, actually interior lighting. The floors are sprinkled with transparent glass blocks around the cones, becoming progressively more opaque.

Geometry and light

Geometry and light create this architecture with infinite variations, linked to time, the hour of day, and to the nature of programmed images.  It is halfway between abstraction and figurative, artificial and natural light.  We wanted to create a game, a subtle, scenographics tool as a motor for seduction, questioning the shown and hidden, the dark and light, the intelligible and sensitive. It alights one of the first lamps of Friedrichstrasse renaissance.

⇒ Architecture Guide to BERLIN