Prada Epicenter

March 07, 2007 /

Beverly Hills, California, USA

Photo: arcspace

The Beverly Hills Prada Epicenter's most remarkable feature is the absence of a facade; the entire width of 50 feet along Rodeo Drive opens up to the street, without a traditional storefront or glass enclosure, inviting the public to enter the building.

Climatic separation is achieved through an environmentally responsive air-curtain system that profits from Los Angeles' pleasant weather. At night, an aluminum panel rises from the ground and hermetically seals the building.

Photo: arcspace

Photo: arcspace

Large display cones are embedded into the ground to reveal merchandise without physically obstructing the open street front.

Photo courtesy OMA

Photo courtesy OMA

Inside the store, a large wooden stair forms a "hill," a counterpart to the "wave'" in the New York store, that supports an aluminum box floating above the entrance.

photo: arcspace

Photo: arcspace

In the mirrored alcove beneath the stair-hill, the black and white marble floor and the vitrines make reference to the first Prada store from 1913 in Milan.

Photo courtesy OMA

The aluminum box is lined with a new material specifically developed for Prada. Half matter, half air, the "sponge" provides a porous artificial background for the merchandise and further expands Prada's physical identity in its stores.

Photo: arcspace

Photo: arcspace

Photo: arcspace

The stair is framed with laminated glass fading from translucent to transparent, seemingly shrinking or enlarging the store's size in response to the presence of customers.

A roof structure spanning the entire third floor admits daylight to the "scenario-space," where the merchandise is arranged on an open, flexible floor plan.

Photo courtesy OMA

Photo courtesy OMA

Roller tables and media gates form part of an airport-like display installation that draws reference to today's omnipresent security procedures. The character of the space is further defined by a mural of wallpaper that allows for simple but radical change of the environment. A soft curtain provides a flexible enclosure and privacy for VIP and personal shopping.

A series of experiential and service-oriented features enhances both functioning and aura of the Prada stores. The dressing rooms are equipped with "magic mirrors": a plasma screen invisibly built into the large mirror surface that allows customers to see themselves both from the front and the back at the same time. An integrated time delay can even capture and replay movements. The doors are made of Privalite glass that the customer can switch from transparent to translucent and control the privacy of the dressing room.

Equipped with RFID (radio frequency identity) antennas, the "garment closet" is able to register merchandize brought into the dressing room and display an inventory of icons on a touch screen. Here, the customer can request more specific information on the clothes, but also browse through alternative items of the collection. On the web-site, the garment closet has its virtual counterpart, the "web-closet," that contains a history of all pieces tried on.

The customer can not only built up his personal history and selection of likes, but also order things he tried but didn't buy in the store.

Image courtesy OMA

Image courtesy OMA

Image courtesy OMA
Drawing courtesy OMAFirst Floor Plan
Drawing courtesy OMASecond Floor Plan
Drawing courtesy OMAThird Floor Plan

Facts about Prada Epicenter

Total area:

24,000 ft2
Retail space: 14,750 ft2

Office for Metropolitan Architecture OMA-AMO

Rem Koolhaas
Ole Scheeren

Project Architects:
Eric Chang
Jessica Rothschild
Amale Andraos

OMA Team:
Christian Bandi
Catarina Canas
David Moore
Mark Watanabe
Torsten Schroeder
Jocelyn Low
Keren Engelman
Ali Kops
Jeffrey Johnson
AMO Technology:
Markus Schaefer
Clemens Weisshaar
Reed Kram

AMO Content:
Nicolas Firket
Michael Rock
Joakim Dahlqvist
Reed Kram
Stephen Wang
Richard Wang
Sung Kim, Dan Michaelson
Leigh Devine

Executive Architect:
Brand+Allen Architects, San Francisco

Structure: Arup, Los Angeles


Fondazione Prada


Last updated: December 19, 2013

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