Yohji Yamamoto Store - New York - USA
The design for the new Yohji Yamamoto boutique in Manhattan’s Meat Packing District is barely perceivable within the city.
Through a simple but decisive cut, the old building is split into two new parts. A generous subtraction of the north facade along the lively West 13th Street creates an inviting opening.
In the quieter, southern Gansevoort Street the continuity of the street frontage is maintained.
Finally, a slice is taken from where the two streets meet, sharpening the front of the building and exacerbating the sites condition at the confluence of two streets.
The formerly painted brick walls of the 50 year old building were disassembled from top to bottom, vigorously cleaned, and reassembled into a new shape. This process allowed for new embedded window frames in the facade.
Through this move, the structure’s large glass panes, some of them curve, effortlessly seem to disappear into the walls. A dramatic brick cantilever hovers over the sharp glazed corner at the junction of the new alley and Gansevoort Street. These sophisticated and delicate operations give the old materials a inquisitive character. The repurposing of the humble and neglected building into a flagship store for a boutique fashion label such as Yohji Yamamoto speaks of the latent potential found everywhere in our cities.
This reassembly of a mundane industrial building through the operation of subtraction generates a moment of generosity in the relentless grid of New York. Perceptions of new and old, and outside and inside are challenged.
Pedestrians passing through the building everyday slowly wonder, how long has this building been here?
[project selected by Timothy Mettam]