Balenciaga has announced the official relocation of its London flagship from Mount Street to West London’s Sloane Street. Recently renovated, the space proved the perfect blank canvas for the Parisian house to debut its new architectural concept, Raw, sticking to the principles of both preserving and accentuating the site’s original form.
While the façade of the building maintains the stonework that runs parallel with its surrounding neighbours, it stands alone with the contradiction of large glazed windows and backlit Balenciaga sign. As the exterior harmonises with the milieu, the interior is where the concept of Raw has been truly explored: inner workings of electrical wires and air ducts are left visible, concrete flooring is fractured and concrete columns supporting the overall structure are disheveled. Well-worn leather seating intercepts the interior throughout, acting as a subtle disruption to the curated rigidity of the design.
In juxtaposition to the stripped back architectural style, digital screens and LEDs nod towards Demna Gvasalia’s digital fascination – from animated campaigns to online video games – while fixed to corroded metal structures. Balenciaga’s latest collections are of course the main attractions within this new flagship, spread across 772 square metres and two floors.