IN: Inspiration

Dior Miami’s white concrete façade

The curved panels of white concrete that drape the French fashion boutique store make as much of a statement about architecture as they do about fashion.


In the up-and-coming Miami Design District in Miami, Florida in the US, lies the much-adored Dior boutique store, which specializes in ready-to-wear women’s apparel and accessories. Craig Robins, co-founder of the Design Miami fair, is behind the concept for developing the formerly neglected area into a neighbourhood dedicated to fashion, design, architecture and dining spaces – which has led to architects pushing the boundaries when it comes to designing buildings in the area.

The exterior of the Dior Miami store draws references from Dior’s Japanese-inspired Spring Summer collection of 2007 and has been designed to resemble pleats in a skirt or dress. French studio Barbarito Bancel Architects is behind the concept for the store’s scheme, which consists of an assortment of curved white panels made of ultra-high-performance concrete and marble powder. At night, lights placed behind the slits in the facade emit a white glow.

“Through large curved movements of white concrete, clear figures of the ‘plissée’ [pleats] take shape, between which the spaces of the boutique slide in,” said the Paris-based studio, which is led by architects Benjamin Bancel and Ivana Barbarito.

At ground level, large windows framed in shiny silver provide a glimpse into the spacious boutique. The building is three storeys high and features a restrained colour palette of greys and whites.

“The building does not want to appear as an institution or a museum,” explains the team from Barbarito Bancel on how they approached the design of the building’s facade. “The [design] is influenced by the suggestive inspirations of Miami — images of sun and beaches along with an idea of dynamism, youth and contemporary design,” it added.

The exterior is also meant to convey the defining qualities of the Dior brand, such as elegance, beauty and refinement. “Its image needs to outlive time that goes by and continue to represent the Dior spirit in a lasting manner,” said the studio.

Images source: ArchDaily


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