Derek Lam Atelier, New York, USA, 2009

SOIL designed fashion designer Derek Lam’s new center of operations, in a landmarked loft building on Crosby Street in Manhattan. The fluid and spontaneous nature of Derek Lam’s studio, juxtaposed with the quintessential block-deep SoHo loft immediately presented the opportunity to imagine a productive connection between seemingly unrelated spaces; between the stable and the flexible. Through stripping the loft building—previously used as a boxing gym, down to its bare essence, and introducing a few measured architectural elements, we were able to create an environment where the existing subtly gets embedded in the new.

The initially contradicting desire for both open spaces and substantial privacy is achieved by devising a series of adjoining realms—gently separated by slender walls—connected through a sequence of large portals. Framed with thin steel tubes, the 2-1/2" thick wall is finished with bee waxed plaster to reflect light. [This creates a calibrated environment of sheens and shades, where designers, administrative personnel and production staffs collaborate. Egress, storage and other support program is organized in a monochromatic zone along the southern wall behind a single continuous polyurethane partition. Its dark reflective surface bounces daylight deep into the space to further emphasize the extraordinary span from Crosby Street to Broadway.

Client
Derek Lam

Location
New York, USA

Program
Fashion design studio and offices

Area
1.000 m² / 11,000 sf

Status
Completed 2009

Team
Florian Idenburg, Jing Liu, Ilias Papageorgiou, Chris Cornecelli, Iannis Kandyliaris,

Collaborators
Architect of Record: Formactiv

Image Credits
Photography: Iwan Baan, Dean Kaufman

Derek Lam Atelier, interior view
Derek Lam Atelier, interior view
Derek Lam Atelier, interior view
Derek Lam Atelier, interior view
Derek Lam Atelier, interior view
Derek Lam Atelier, interior view
Derek Lam Atelier, interior view
Derek Lam Atelier, axonometric
Derek Lam Atelier, plan