If you're familiar with Miuccia Prada's dynamic and inventive use of colour and pattern, you'll understand her attraction to the Paris-based Venezuelan op artist Carlos Cruz-Diez, a leader in the kinetic art movement and a modern pioneer of vivid hues and mindblowing pattern.
Prada's admiration for Cruz-Diez is now being displayed on an epic proportion. Last month the final touches were completed to the latest Prada store at London's Westfield Stratford City, a 230sq m, ground-level boutique designed by Italian architect Roberto Baciocchi. The store's façade pays obvious tribute to Cruz-Diez, its series of aluminium, steel and golden blades producing a moiré effect often associated with the artist. The interior is no less complex, teasing the eye with multi-faceted mirrors, deep cubic storage, polished steel and a gleaming checkerboard floor.
Stratford's 15m façade is the latest in a recent succession of new Prada boutiques that pay homage to Cruz-Diez. The seemingly vibrating patterns of vertical blades have become a tradition for the brand. It enlisted Baciocchi to design its new Qingdao, China, location with a backlit vertical composition that juts out in high relief to create an optical illusion. Boutiques at Harbin's Charter Shopping Center and Shenyang's the Mix City Crossing followed suit.