MAISON LOUIS VUITTON
Peter Marino Architects
Electrocolored steel, wood and cowhide, glass
In London’s Mayfair district, Maison Louis Vuitton was opened in 2010. The whole space has been designed by Peter Marino, who has operated with great discretion on the outside, inventing a metal grid that acts as a “filter” between exterior and interior, covering part of the windows and repeated as an expressive surface in the interiors as well. The inner spaces have an image that bears no resemblance to the character of the host buildings, with an enveloping itinerary marked by a complex, variegated materic and decorative palette to indicate the different spaces for the collections. Once past the entrance door, made by Marzorati Ronchetti, and beyond the glass access walkway, a staircase in the same material parallel to the facade has an immediate vertical opening that offers a view of the three levels open to the public (joined by the third floor set aside for Vips and special customers received by appointment in private suites). Among the various spaces, on the ground floor to the right there is a striking two-storey area for the collection of travel bags and suitcases, organized in a towering steel display with wooden shelves featuring leather borders. The display system, custommade and installed by Marzorati Ronchetti, is partially backlit against the solid vertical walls. Its vertical design is accentuated by the reflecting ceiling.