Time for Asymptote’s 2.0. While Asymptote Architects continues to produce designs for elaborate projects in Asia and the Middle East, the studio has also recently had the uncommon opportunity to renew a past work, updating the interior of the Alessi store in Soho. Located on Greene Street, the store was originally designed by Hani Rashid of Asymptote in 2006.
Central to the renovations was a change in the programming of the store. Retail has been expanded to the front, which had originally been a café. Where the store had been divided into differentiated front and rear sections, there is now only a panel of glass. This change opens and unifies the space, revealing its most significant design feature: the sequence of backlit ribbing along the length of the store and the geometric impressions sweeping diagonally across the ceiling. “The open store is now getting to the point of the design,” Rashid said. “It is coming of age in a way.”
The wallpaper and color palate of the interior has been redesigned as well. The complex pattern is reminiscent of Louis Sullivan’s tracery work, which Rashid sees as appropriate inspiration for cast-iron Soho, a sort of “Chicago meets New York situation.”