New York–based Steven Holl Architects’ petite, 400-square-foot store for French perfumer Frédéric Malle is a discrete, geometrically inspired insertion within the first floor of a historic red brick townhouse in New York’s Greenwich Village. Imagining an appropriate architectural expression for smell, the architects developed a series of “slipped disks” which create imagery for the façade, cabinetry, furniture, and an outdoor space behind the store, dubbed the “Secret Garden.” Materials were chosen to evoke various sensory responses, similar to the olfactory sensations of the shop’s product: Foamed aluminum walls are porous and reflective; black walnut shelving is dense and smooth; and wool carpet is soft and rough. The garden is paved in schist and offers an acoustic reprieve from the city with the sound of water dripping from a cast-brass disk.
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Project Éditions de Parfums Frédéric Malle, New York
Client Éditions de Parfums Frédéric Malle
Architect Steven Holl Architects, New York—Steven Holl, FAIA (design architect); Olaf Schmidt (associate-in-charge); Filipe Taboada (project architect); Yiqing Zhao, Assoc. AIA (project team)
Lighting Consultant L’Observatoire International
Cabinetry Javier Gomez
Size 400 square feet