Award winning architect Amanda Levete and her London based studio AL_A have just announced they will be redesigning one of Paris's iconic department stores; Galeries Lafayette is one of the French capital's retail landmarks.
The architects have been selected, following a competition among leading international firms, to work on the 40,000 sq m 'Cupola' building of Galerie Lafayette's flagship store on Boulevard Haussman. Founded in Paris in 1893 by Théophile Bader and Alphonse Kahn, the store moved into its current premises in 1912. It glass dome and atrium were famous, becoming a synonym for luxury retail.
The renovation project aims to place architecture at its heart, transforming the existing historical building into a 'new shopping experience'. AL_A was selected for its bold design that blends 'tradition and modernity.' Of course Levete is no stranger to cutting edge retail design, her portfolio including the Selfridges store in Birmingham.
'This store is an institution that has a special place in the life and identity of the city of Paris,' says Levete. 'Our commission is a fantastic opportunity to build on tradition to make a living contribution to the future of Galeries Lafayette and the cultural life of Paris. The exquisite craftsmanship of the original building and its location in the heart of Haussmann's city are both elements we seek to celebrate as we move forward.'
The world famous store on Boulevard Haussmann is the second most visited tourist attraction in Paris, after the Eiffel Tower.
Works are expected to start on site in 2017.