On April 17th, 2023, a two-story retail location will open in Hamburg, Germany
The combined 540-square meter (about 5,813-square foot) sales floor showcases the brand’s experiential Raw Architecture concept, in which codes of luxury retail are reevaluated and interiors are designed with respect to existing structural elements resulting in stores inherently consuming fewer virgin materials.
The concept was conceived to question the nature of authenticity with evocative elements like simulated corrosion and intentionally rough edges. Subsequently, the latest Balenciaga products—men’s and women’s ready-to-wear, shoes, bags, accessories, jewelry, and eyewear—stand in an atemporal setting, not associated with one particular era.
Concrete and metal surfaces are patinated, suspending the interior in a state of conditionality: walls are unfinished or worn away, exposing preexisting layers of raw material. LED lighting hangs alongside an exposed ventilation system. A metal staircase calls to mind areas for delivery and assembly. Grey velvet curtains behind glass appear water damaged. Aluminum tables are stained to simulate outdoor metal fixtures.
The floor is made of aged cement resembling a construction site, bridging coded elements of public and private spaces. Polished, underlit shelving, floor-to-ceiling mirrors, and digital screens populated with up-to-date Balenciaga content punctuate the vacated effect with modernity.
An installation featuring the Balenciaga Bench by Tejo Remy for Droog Design, uses vintage and deadstock Balenciaga fabric to create functional seating, part of Balenciaga’s ongoing Art in Stores project.