Monday, April 13, 2009

Armani 5th Ave

Curiosity arose when I saw online the pretty images of the new Armani Store on 5th Ave designed by Fuksas. Look at that central stair - so fancy! So I decided to go and take a look.

Press Image

The visit turned out to be an agony. It looks so bad!! I can't imagine how Giorgio Armani would accept the quality of construction, since perfection should be the motto of every fashion house. There's no craftsmanship whatsoever. All components are falling apart, with sometimes as wide as 2cm of plaster to join them. Nothing is cut precisely. No line of the supposedly smooth form is finished smoothly. You need a very high tolerance to even walk half way up without wanting to hit something.

There's not only construction problems. The design was obviously not done right either. The whole thing looks like the result of one lunch charrette. Nothing is worked out. The ribbons don't follow the slope of the steps, fine. But they need to meet properly. The landings are large and needs panelization, OK. But the seams should be somehow arranged with the geometry. There will be structure, absolutely! But it can't just be banging in and out. How hard is it to figure all that out with a precise Rhino model? All you need is just a little professionalism.

Maybe the most disturbing aspect though, is the missing criticism. The media is completely silent about its failures. Everybody is just sitting in their room and quote the press release. Some even ended up singing high praise base on the pretty photos they saw. I couldn't even find one close-up image on the web that shows the problems. So there you go!


zhiwei said...

Bad digital fabrication.

Human said...

here's a time lapse footage on youtube showing the construction of the staircase:

it's prefab in many pieces. dunno how they built the pieces in the shops though...

Ben Black said...


At least it looks good from a distance.