New York City

Gordon Kipping Architects/G TECTS


The downtown boutique aesthetic that emerged in New York City’s SoHo loft district in the late 1970s caught on––and stuck around––largely because it showed off arty clothes to striking effect. Architects and designers blithely stripped the deep and narrow loft spaces to their bare bones, leaving only cast-iron columns, concrete or wood floors, and white walls and ceilings, the latter often revealing ducts, pipes, and light tracks. Against this setting, clothes, spaciously arrayed as if in an art gallery, easily stood out.

Miyake Madison
Photo © Mikiko Kikuyama

A new shop for Issey Miyake on Madison Avenue at 68th Street illustrates that the loft style also works in the ultra-chic purview of Manhattan’s Upper East Side. In an area known for its lacquered look (both shops and shoppers), a bit of a downtown feeling can juice up the ambience. When Issey Miyake changed locations on Madison last fall, it asked Gordon Kipping Architects/G TECTS, an architectural firm that worked with Frank Gehry on the titanium-infiltrated Miyake flagship store, in the Tribeca neighborhood, to design a small, 2,600-square-foot outpost.

To draw shoppers into the boutique, Gordon Kipping, AIA, glazed the entire 24-foot width of the storefront, framing it in black solid surface material. He then energized the interior by focusing on the ceiling plane. Here, backlit fluorescent panels, 10 feet long and 10 inches wide, alternating with black voids of the same dimension mounted with metal-halide spots, create a syncopated, elongated checkerboard pattern. The muted floor is 2-inch-thick concrete deck. I-section steel columns, painted white, run down the middle of the space. With a $400,000 budget, the architects installed plastic laminate counters, glass vitrines, and recessed shelves along the white south wall, and displayed the clothes—the only note of color—on white steel racks along the north wall. In the fitting area at the back, four-layered curtains of diaphanous, white fabric almost conceal bright, white, vertical fluorescent tubes. Fluorescent lighting, tucked behind the mirrored partitions dividing the dressing rooms, adds to the luminous, if surreal, effect.


Gordon Kipping Architects / G Tects Llc
200 Hudson Street 300
New York, Ny  10013
T 212 414 2300
F 212 414 2301 

Gordon Kipping
Project Principal

Nora Peyer
Project Architect

Maria Stefanidis, Brooks Atwood, Styliani Daouti

Project Team

Mep Engineer
Igor Bienstock
Icor Associates, LLC
485e Route 1 South Suite 320a
Iselin Nj  08830-3005
T 908 272 3300
F 908 272 4440

Lighting Designer
Alexander Radunsky, Iald
Lightfield, Inc.
160 5th Avenue 811a
New York, Ny  10010
T 212 242 3116
F 212 242 3953

Building & Zoning Law Consultants
Joseph Deceglie
Vice President
William Vitacco Associates Ltd.
291 Broadway, 19th Floor
New York, Ny  10007
T 212 791 4578
F 212 385 0109

General Contractor
Raymond Chow
H&L Fortune Enterprise, Inc.
50 Bond Street
New York, Ny  10012
F 212 677 5119

Flooring Contractor
Alan D. Bouknight
Azzarone Contracting Corp.
110 East Second Street
Mineola, New York  11501
T 516 742 4305
F 516 742 4307

HVAC Contractor
Joseph Yannaco
Polar Mechanical Corp.
221 51st Street
Brooklyn, New York  11220
T 800 650 0014
F 718 492 9419

Electrical Contractor
Matthew Ollen
Beacon Electric Corp.
266 Jericho Turnpike
Floral Park, Ny  11001
T 516 775 4532
F 516 775 4533

Plumbing Contractor
Douglas Dunham
Dunham Piping & Heating Corp.
601 West 26th Street
New York, Ny  10001
T 646 486 1380
F 212 924 3986

Metal Fabricator
John Milich
Product And Design
Brooklyn Navy Yard
63 Flushing Avenue, Unit 322
Brooklyn, Ny  11205-1082
T 718 858 2440
F 718 858 8745

Glass Fabricator
Eugene Negrin
Galaxy Glass & Mirror
Hollywood Park
277 Fairfield Park
Fairfield, NJ  07004
T 973 575 3440
F 973 575 5235

Mikiko Kikuyama
342 East 15th Street, 3b
New York, NY  10003
T 212 228 5816




Solid Surface Exterior:
Dupont Corian

Plastic Laminate:

Benjamin Moore