When asked to design a store for the Alessa Designs company, Taller KEN worked to reflect the personality of the clients. The Alessa company was founded by a young couple from Dubai and Guatemala who met in California so they were infused with spirituality and a global-trotting exposure to different styles.
Because the project is located in a hectic commercial shopping center, the goal was to create an “inner reality” where the customer feels enveloped in the space and is able to explore different worlds and focus on the small scale of the objects on display.
Customers are greeted with a central display island which appears to emerge from both the ceiling and floor. This dramatic elements allow the project to be more inwardly focused. A tapestry of frayed rope and brass tubes serves as a backdrop to a long display counter of natural wood with pastel-green accents.
The material palette was chosen to create an atmosphere which would connect with the young clientele of the brand. To achieve a youthful, feminine feeling, soft curves and fabrics are contrasted with golden reflective elements. Pastel colors are contrasted with organic textures and natural materials such as plywood, linen and rope.
The store contains a retail area, offices, restrooms and storage. The jewellery is displayed in custom furniture, design by the architects and produce by local craftsmen.
The store features a ‘crystal cave’ where the customer steps through a narrow door into a mirror-paneled room and can play and touch crystals and spiritual objects.
About Taller KEN:
Taller KEN, founded in 2013 by Gregory Melitonov and Ines Guzman, is a New York and Guatemala based architecture practice focused on playful design with social and cultural relevancy. Works of the studio range in scale from mixed-use development, commercial and residential projects, to exhibition and installation design.
The firm recently received the New York, New Practices Award from the AIA, which "recognizes and promotes new, innovative and emerging architecture firms" and was named as a 'firm to watch' by Architecture Record and Architizer.
Gregory and Ines previously worked for Pritzker Prize laureate Renzo Piano as part of the design team for the Whitney Museum of American Art and the headquarters building for the High Line park in New York City.
Photo credits: Victor Martinez