Architects: AMODesigners: Virgil Abloh
- Area : 262 m²
- Year : 2020
- Design Team : Virgil Abloh
- City : Miami
- Country : United States
Text description provided by the architects. Located at 127 NE 41 Street, in the heart of the city’s dynamic and expanding Design District, the bi-floor space has been designed by Off-White’s founder and creative director, Virgil Abloh together with AMO—the boundary-pushing research and design branch of the renowned architecture firm OMA led by Samir Bantal. The collaboration between Abloh and AMO represents an ongoing dialogue between the two that was sparked by the jointly developed exhibition Figures of Speech.
The property holds a number of distinct aesthetic markers, including an opaque polycarbonate facade. Through this exterior layer, Off-White’s new visual marker—a pair of hands extended upward—is visible above a bright orange “X,” another of the brand’s signatures.
The ‘X’ overlays the word ‘SHOP’ indicating that this is not simply a shop. Instead, Abloh and AMO developed a platform for Off-White’s diverse identity, driven by Abloh’s multidisciplinary engagement. The ‘X’ results from the ongoing endeavor of Abloh and AMO to redefine the world of Off-WhiteTM retail, which is driven by questions such as: What is the role of a shop in today’s tech-driven, social media-focused society?
The flagship store explores the idea of the modern fulfillment center, by offering visitors a physical community space for interaction and brand engagement. The multiplicity of activities and experiences to be explored is facilitated by the flexibility of the space. A floor-to-ceiling movable wall serves as a secondary façade, that can be pushed back inviting the public street into the brand’s perimeter. As such, public space is created to host a variety of functions, such as public art displays, mini catwalks, and musical performances. The first floor’s flexible floorplan creates moments for more intimate and exclusive engagement with the world of Off-WhiteTM.
Befitting Miami and its warm temperatures, the floors are rendered in concrete, which helps in keeping the interior from overheating and is lightly stained. Shelving is done in stainless steel; rails in black marquina and white Carrara marble. Corrugated metal walls, mesh ceiling panels and tubular ceiling lights amplify Off-White’s industrial-blank canvas impression, referencing ‘fulfillment center’ esthetics, while a centerpiece staircase—finished in an electric blue—pays an unexpected, striking nod to the Magic City’s famed history of neon color.
In total, the Miami flagship features 262 square meters (2,820 square feet) of space, across two floors. Always seeking to merge fashion with art and pubic activities, Abloh has included a 1 square meter (441 square feet) stock room in his store, that will be visible to passersby and shoppers through a completely transparent glass wall that is recessed within the building. To that point, the Miami flagship will also feature customizable elements in its layout and framework, with transformative fixtures that can rapidly change a retail floor into a multi-use event platform. All of the store’s furniture—custom made in Italy for Off-WhiteTM—features wheels, for easier rearrangement. Flexibility is key.