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Future Systems, comme des garcons, New York

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The Architects' Journal international award, £1,000

Fashion house comme des garcons has initiated a collaboration with Future Systems in a number of city locations to explore the relationship between clothing and space. The first is at a site in New York's West Chelsea district, which is masked by a crumbling 19th century facade. The brief was to create a new identity for a shop with a new facade.

Rather than create an entirely new facade, it treated the existing 19th century fabric, including old signage and external industrial fire escapes, as a 'found object'. Grafted behind the old brick entrance arch it has created a new entrance - an asymmetric tubular structure made entirely from aluminium. The link transports the individual from the noise and life of a New York street into the new environment.

The tube structure becomes an inbetween space, neither of the day or night, not entirely inside or out, a fissure through an existing building into the new and challenging environment.

The result is a calm, yet unnerving, space, punctuated by a single row of marker lights and divided by a glazed, pivoted door -which cuts the space physically but not visually. The skin of the tube has been mechanically formed and then finished by hand. The surface is natural and raw, yet smooth, mechanical and machined. The 6mm aluminium plate is the structure;

there are no ribs, beams, columns or cladding and the jointing is seamless - pure monocoque.

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