Milanese luxury leather house Valextra makes its debut at Bal Harbour Shops—the first shop outside of New York, and its only flagship in the country—this week. The new flagship, located on level one, was designed by celebrated contemporary architecture firm, Aranda/Lasch.
Natural forms, fractal geometry, a modularity inspired by crystals, combinations of traditional craftsmanship and advanced technologies are just some of the elements which Aranda/Lasch imbued the boutique with. The designers chose to highlight the luxury brand’s Milanese origins, bringing a corner of the Italian city to Bal Harbour.
The primary inspiration which Benjamin Aranda and Chris Lasch followed for the project were the unique entrance of Milan’s palazzos: gates, lobbies, hallways, liminal spaces which connect the indoors with the outdoors. Visitors first encounter the pair’s design approach before they enter the boutique, observing the façade which features the large door inspired by a palazzo entrance, and clad in the city’s signature stone, Ceppo di Gre.
Inside, the architects created a design which deconstructs and reconstructs the fundamental elements of a classic Milanese atrium: marbles, metals, decorated walls are presented in a combination of sophistication and intelligence.
The exclusive Valextra collections are shown on bespoke structures which combine a series of Arzo marble blocks (the same material which can be found in the Via Manzoni, Milan, flagship) with metal details.
To complete the atmosphere, Barrisol lighting graces the ceiling, alongside a composition of invisible spotlights, a combination which would not be out of place in a museum of an art gallery. What is a Valextra object, after all, if not a portable artwork?