Issey Miyake

Status: 1999
Location: Conduit St, London

Client: Issey Miyake International
Value: Confidential


“Stanton Williams’ new shop for Issey Miyake is a fluid and luminous space capable of adapting to Miyake’s changing vision”Architectural Review


“…avoids the brash, hi-tech dazzle and opts for an almost subliminal effect, taking standard materials and sculpting natural light with them… ”The Independent


Stanton Wiliams association with Issey Miyake goes back 15 years. The first project was the men’s shop in Brompton Road which won the D&AD gold award in 1988. The women’s shop was built on the opposite side of the road in 1990 and is still trading. It won the D&AD silver award in 1991. An office and shop in Chelsea and two Pleats Please shops have also been designed by Stanton Williams for Issey Miyake.

The new shop is located in London’s West End between Bond Street and Regent Street on the corner of Conduit Street and Savile Row.

The design aims to create a luminous and fluid space that invites participation. A space that can change and evolve, respond to an idea, respond to Issey Miyake’s creations in the future, his vision.

The architectural design moves were simple: removal of all timber window and door frames in order to create clear 3.5mm ht glazed openings that allow the interior spaces to be flooded with natural daylight and dissolve the barrier between inside and outside. Travertine stone sills/seats fold the stone façade into the space and strengthen the visual connection.

The rationalisation and concealment of existing internal columns of the 5 storey building has resulted in the creation of an ‘inhabited wall’ that acts as a backdrop to the otherwise open flexible 4.5m ht retail space. The wall is detailed as if it has been carved out.

The marmarino finish, a plaster and marble mix, is applied to create either smooth or textured surfaces depending on direction of the wall plane, in the same way that chalk responds when cut. These plaster surfaces reflect light in different ways and ‘catch’ the colour of the fabrics that will we hope, add a depth and subtlety to the space enhancing the collection and heightening the enjoyment of anybody entering the space.

In order to articulate and make sense of ‘a twist’ in the buildings geometry and damarcate the dressing room zone at the back of the space a dark blue pigmented plaster surface has been applied to the neutral pale grey concrete floor, and a vibrant pink plaster screen runs across it, concealing the changing areas behind. The introduction of a full height mirror perpendicular to the screen releases the restricted space at the end of the building, visually extended and strengthening the abstracted pink screen. This ‘moment of theatre’ attempts to focus attention on the clothes being worn, and on “the space between the fabric and the body“ IM. The pink pigmented plaster has not been sealed, so that as with all other components within the space it can be changed. No shop should remain static. However, the space, the container, itself needs to have an integrity of its own, so that it can absorb and respond positively to change.


Client: Issey Miyake London Ltd.
Client Agent: Phillipa Jeal Property Consultants
Const Consultant: Stockdale
Structural Engineer: Greig-Ling consulting Engineers
Services Engineer: Buro Happold
Lighting Consultants: Ingo Maurer; Concord
Photography: Peter Cook