Having the same sort of creative relations with architects as with perfumers have allowed Editions de Parfums Frédéric Malle to pop up the first of this new collection of shops designed by contemporary greatest architects.
“The success of Editions de Parfums and my plan to open more free standing stores around the world (as I believe this is the best way to generate the level of service that selling our perfumes requires), allows me to live my child- hood dream today: “publishing” the work of great architects, in the form of Editions de Parfums stores”
The blend of Frédéric Malle’s deals with the distinct personalities of each perfumer, and the total freedom provided by Editions de Parfums has created a brand with no definite house style. Its singularity comes from its striking heterogeneity, whereby each nose has expressed and unleashed his or her creative instinct to the fullest. This time, as it will always be the case, the location and the character of the building are the conditions which would affect into the who-will-be- the-designer affair.
Steven Holl’s use of light in small spaces, his freedom with shapes or his limitless imagination were the attributes in search of. Great understanding of NYC’s West Village and the capability of erecting a building to withstand the dynamism of the city, a future classic, made him the one.
Holl, who likes making contextual projects, started this piece envisioning by a few signature elements by Malle: the presence of the portraits of the perfumers, refrigerated cabinets to store the perfumes, smelling devices and a place where time stopped. All this embodied in a whole: both interior and exterior in the same style and material.
His fascination by the way our body reacts to scents helped to get to an imagined geometry for olfaction, a slipped disk characterizes the facade, the main cabinetry, the furniture and the secret garden beyond.
If smell could have geometric properties they might come in all scales and textures. Similarly, the “slipped disk” geometry is textured, porous and reflective (foamed aluminum); dense, smooth and opaque (black walnut); transparent (glass); or soft and rough (wool carpet). In the Secret Garden, which is paved in schist, the gentle sound of water emanates from a cast brass slipped disk.
94 Greenwich Avenue opened June 6 2014, exactly 14 years after the opening of the first Editions de Parfums store, 37 Rue de Grenelle.