The stairs designed for Longchamp flagship store in NYC , designed by Heatherwick Studio, can be considered one of the most creative stairs in the US. Eventually, Longchamp established in Paris in 1948 as a maker of fine leather products, then the brand has been on US soil since 1993, as it sold at many high-end luxury specialty and freestanding stores around the world. Stairs are apparently made from glass panels, and are designed to ‘flow and converge’ between walkways and steps on three levels like ‘draping silk’. A sweeping curvature of ribbon-like steel stairs makes Longchamp’s global flagship store in Manhattan utterly unforgettable.

Photo © Nikolas Koenig

Heatherwick Studio was invited by Longchamp to design their new global flagship store, a key to repositioning the brand and opening new markets. Thee studio solution uses natural light, from a large glazed core cut through the building, to draw people up a landscape, rather than a conventional staircase or escalator, to the floor above.

“This unusual configuration of space allowed the design team to come up with a design solution that turns this into an advantage; a three storey void cut through the building bringing daylight down and people up a landscape formed by a staircase; a major intervention behind an unassuming façade.”

Photo © Nikolas Koenig

Constructed in 1¼” hot-rolled steel and taking six months to build, the landscape stair weighs 55 tonnes and is an installation that divides and converges to form a topography of walkways, landings and steps. The transparent balustrades are fabricated using aerospace windscreen technology to create a series of individually formed panels that drape with the fluidity of fabric. On the main retail floor, the laminated wood ceiling is sliced open and sections folded downwards, their layers separated further to provide surfaces to display the merchandise.


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