New York City design partnership 212box is anything but orthodox. Its stated intent to produce “works of architectural rigor and impact” drives an exhaustive methodology which, when combined with an eye for overlooked design opportunities, has made 212box a force behind revolutionary design research.
Another innovator—famed French shoe designer Christian Louboutin—recently tapped 212box to design his new Manhattan showroom, having previously collaborated with the partnership on other showrooms around the world. Operating under a compressed schedule and on a shoestring budget, 212box designed a space as distinctive as the red soles that have become a Louboutin trademark.
Located in a turn-of-the-century industrial building in the Garment District, the showroom achieves authenticity and charm through the use of salvaged and collected materials. Rescued, wrought iron gates loom with back-story. The antique furniture that resides in the lobby is from Louboutin’s personal collection, and the leaves he gathered on a trip to Cairo have been pressed, dried, and framed to form a feature wall behind the reception desk. The stained glass panels that separate the sales office and press showroom were designed by Robert Somers for the American Airlines terminal at JFK and recovered from a salvage shop, as were the antique, stained glass windows and imposing brass doors. Rolling storage units (bright red, of course) give aesthetic functionality to the handbag display area, where 212box used mirrored millwork to capitalize on light and space.
Not bad for less than $65 a square foot.
Christian Louboutin Boutique | 306 West 38th Street | New York, NY 10018