Bjarke Ingels’s New Galeries Lafayette Fuses Historic and Contemporary Styles in Paris

SUPERFLEX | Architecture Digest | By Nadja Sayej

The famous department store has received a modernist revamp

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Though it was once a bank, a stately Art Deco building on the Avenue des Champs-Élysées, in Paris, has been transformed into a sleek, modern shopping mecca designed by Danish architect Bjarke Ingels. The new Galeries Lafayette Champs-Elysées, which opened this past weekend, is a sprawling 70,000-square-foot space made of marble, glass, and steel.

In a statement, Ingels called the project a “pragmatic utopia,” mixing minimalist function with extravagant beauty. The rose-hued marble in the interior fits in well with the romantic City of Light and is peppered with gold-lined touches that are spread throughout the space’s four floors.

What exactly is a “pragmatic utopia?” According to Ingels, it’s a type of architecture that steers clear of boring white boxes. It also avoids what he calls “the naive utopian ideas of digital formalism.” Here, he fuses convention with concept, tapping into his personal motto: “Yes is more.”

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