Blanc De Chine New York

5,650 Square Feet

Located on the prominent corner of Fifth Avenue and Fifty-Third Street, this provocative creation is a study in contrasts.

The client, Blanc De Chine, known for their updated interpretations of traditional Chinese apparel, specifically requested a contemporary Chinese setting: one that alluded to established Chinese motifs and forms, but also reflect their progressive vision.

The design concept pushes beyond cliché Chinese imagery, such as red or gold lacquer. Instead, it references an even stronger cultural tradition: a reverence for nature. This veneration is echoed in the use of rich organic elements, such as the heavily variegated wood flooring, undulating walnut plinths, and ebonized rift oak cabinetry. By contrasting these natural components with the more rigid geometric forms of the rectilinear hang bars and the planar space itself, the design also echoes the “traditional versus modern” motif established in the clothing collection.

The exterior of this jewel-box environment is a crisp assemblage of steel, stone, and glass, provided textural relief by the use of rich, natural-toned Ipe, a South American hardwood, used on both the large over-scaled entry door and a massive column that bisects the main window.

Due to its generous scale, the window itself appears to melt away — dissolving the barrier between outside and in. Behind this careful composition, a sculptural spiral stair nestled among an expansive bed of grey palm seeds, ascends a dramatic three-storied atrium.

This balance of modern and traditional elements, between hard against soft and geometric against organic, culminates in a series of vacuum formed acrylic window screens. Using the traditional Chinese element of bamboo, but transforming it through the use of the very modern acrylic, the design presents the materials in a completely fresh, inventive manner.

Through a focus on subtlety, rather than the obvious, the design persuades the viewer to explore, reveal, and discover the beauty of a distinctive sensibility.

Blanc De Chine New York