Purpose and Values
The Piano Factory, the Prada Headquarters building in New York, is the venue selected for the Prada Resort 2019 fashion show. The transformation of the former piano factory was the first project entrusted to Herzog & de Meuron by Prada in 2000. It was a kind of a striptease of the existing building: all architectural elements were removed so only the naked concrete structure remained.
The show takes place on floor 7. Here, the building’s naked structure with its expressive concrete pillars becomes visible: a space of powerful sculptural beauty. The space is kept as open and empty as possible, only large floating semi-transparent panels are added to reflect the cityscape outside and thus transfer images of the real city deep inside the space of the show. In addition, other images of virtual cityscapes are projected onto the boards. The models walking the runway also appear on the surface of the panels. The result is an intriguing mix of inside and outside, of analogical and virtual realities.
The panels hanging from the ceiling are freely arranged, dividing and organizing the space and either allowing for or blocking out the daylight. Artificial light enhances reflection and transparency. Red panels and lighting system installed on the windows create an “augmented sunset” atmosphere, to enhance the artificiality and to contrast with the daylight outside.