architectural studio UUfie has completed the new vertical circulation space in the renowned department store printemps haussmann in paris, france. the project is part of the store’s revitalization which includes introducing a circulation from the lower ground up to the 9th floor, a geometric veil echoing art nouveau with a colourful mirror facade.

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color effect by layering aluminum sheets with dichroic glass

 

 

since 1865 printemps has had a long history in revolutionizing the ways of shopping. the original interior had featured an atrium with a massive staircase, serving as the stores focal point back in the day. now with much of its’ old allure having been destroyed in fires or modernised over time, the store has undergone a transformation with studio UUfie’s contributions the highlight.

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seeing retail space through veil

 

 

printemps has restored the art noveau building façade and the stained glass dome, both recognised as historical monuments in the capital. and to equal their landmark status, the project introduces a new grand atrium, undertaken after UUfie was chosen in a competition launched in 2013.

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contrast of brightness created by one-way mirror wall

 

 

based on the concept of a vertical dome, the space features a delicate, 24 ton, three-dimensional form – a homage to the store’s iconic glass domes of 1894. also known as a veil, at 25.5 meters high and half as wide, it appears to float in front of the vertical circulation with a glass floor and mirror ceiling, consisting of white-painted aluminium sheets laminated to create a floral relief. this naturalistic decoration is translated into a repeated pattern from images found in the original, which have been randomized to form approximately 17200 petal-shaped openings, revealing an array of colors through the effect of dichroic glass.

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interaction on the escalator

 

 

conceived as a public interior space that is read through experiencing the depth and layering, visitors approach through a darkened vestibule leading to newly installed escalators. behind the one-way mirror wall that conceals them, reveals the veil through the tinted glass view. as people move vertically through the space, the one-way mirror opens to give an unobstructed view of the veil.

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ceiling detail

 

 

the veil and its’ geometry are conceived by connecting the four corners of the void with pure curves in plan and elevation. the combination of two-dimensional curved panels gives the overall three-dimensional shape with the one-way mirror, when viewed from the void creates a moment of fascination.

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Side view

 

 

the veil is mirrored to create the image of a bi-convex geometric space, a completed symmetry that can be seen from the side, top and below. on the retail interior, the veil is perforated to allow interior lighting to transfer whilst the transparent dichroic glass fills each opening and creates a surface with infinite gradation.

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a color gradation created by the geometry of the veil

 

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the glass floor has lights that shine upon the colourful geometrics

 

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the geometric acting as a background for retail spaces

 

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looking into the void of the colourful geometric form

 

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a large opening on a one-way mirror wall

 

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the view to look up from the lower level

 

project info:

design architect: UUfie
producer: yabu pushelberg
local architect / site coordination: S.C.O
façade and structure engineer: T/E/S/S atelier d’ingénierie
lighting consultant: inverse
structure consultant: khephren ingénierie
mep consultant: GLI – groupe ekium
metal fabricator: sipral photographer: michel denance

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