BUILDING FASHION: ALEXANDER MCQUEEN FOUNDATION
Student/s: Anastasia Sioutopoulou
Date: August 13, 2016
This dissertation project is an extension of the research project, Building Fashion: Parametric Design, which explores the symbiotic relationship between Fashion and Architecture. This thesis is an architectural design proposal of a building dedicated to the work of a fashion designer, Alexander McQueen. The designer managed to give the concept of Fashion depth, content and significance. He created a new type of catwalk, called Fashion Theatre. Meanwhile, the couture clothes he created for his catwalks, are not just clothing, but an idea- information, a new perspective on the beauty that fed the public imagination.
After mapping a network of the places in London, that took place designer’s catwalks, was chosen, for the creation of this building, a road directly connected with McQueen’s life, his work and the history of English couture. The road is called Savile Row Tailors Street, located in the city center and hosts Fashion Houses from the 16th century. In this street I detect a two-storey brick building which was built in the early 20th century. My intention was to maintain the brick facade and added to this an additional cube volume structure of glass. This additional structure is placed in harmony with the adjoining seventh-floor buildings. The main architectural design idea behind this project is based on two factors : a) the characteristics of the designer’s shows and b) the way he managed the concept or notion of “body”- referred to the garment form and the human form. In conclusion, we create a biomorphic "inner" figure which is composed of smaller two kinds of elements (components).These components are produced by specific molds, injected with a kind of high performance concrete, called Ductal. This silhouette is rotated vertically, distorted, disappears or becomes one with the building and reappears. It is "captured" in a glass volume and gives the impression of an uplift. The new modular "body-structure" firstly, as a transition space (staircase, created from one kind of component) leads the viewer into experiential-themed domains, in the building’s early levels. Then, the same modular form ends up becoming one with the building and create a single spiral catwalk or display space for designer’s creations. The catwalk is developed in the next three levels to gradually transformed from the last spiral surface in a different modular structure with different components. These components remodel gradually and extend beyond the building limits, creating a dramatic canopy.