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Hugo Boss, New York City, USA

Issue 47 Feb / Mar 2009 : Retail : Store

Lighting Design: AJ WEISSBARD Architect: MATTEO THUN

Matteo Thun and AJ Weissbard have collaborated to create a dynamic LED lighting scheme for the Hugo Boss flagship store in New York City.

In the heart of a New York neighbourhood that used to be the commercial epicentre of meatpacking, the new Hugo Boss store, designed by Matteo Thun, mixes rough urban surfaces, the texture of contemporary art seamlessly interacting with nearby Chelsea, concrete, iron and electricity, pouring everything inside to state its own naked aesthetics. 

Concrete penetrates into the floors, provides a finishing touch for the walls together with exposed brick, and then takes on a black colour for the ceilings, where it blends in with the metal of the electrical and mechanical conduits and the pattern of adjustable Zumtobel VIVO spotlights.

Inside the store, Hugo Boss has brought its four BOSS lines (BOSS Black, BOSS Orange, BOSS Selection and BOSS Green) and the HUGO brand together for the first time to create a ‘total look’ providing a complete and simultaneous brand experience, displaying its own distinctive signs on various levels: from the well-established retail system to the endoskeleton structure made of diamond-shaped wooden panels, the distinctive architectural icon of Hugo Boss’s exoskeleton style Coldrerio HQ (also designed by Matteo Thun), enveloping all the interior space and underlining a corporate entity pattern ranging from the building to the interior design scale.

The interior is divided into two parts: the first serves exhibition purposes, where the burnished iron and dark brown lacquered displays for the various collections, and the leather and glass showcases for the accessories, are all located. There is a Corian till counter, where customers can enjoy refreshments against the backdrop of a metal wall.

This area also modulates the hangers, racks and goods against spots on the floor and the diamond-shaped sections of the wooden structure. It reflects itself against the back wall, a reflective ‘focus wall’, which marks the boundaries of and doubles the visual field. 

Beyond here, the second area can be seen in semi-transparency where the fitting rooms are located, and here everything changes. The atmosphere is softer and warmer, featuring rugs, red velvet curtains, a golden coloured ceiling, and wood.

Designed in conjunction with lighting designer AJ Weissbard, the lighting mechanism in the display area is extremely intricate consisting of dynamic light provided by three types of programmable Ledon LEDs against the pattern of perimeter panels, radiating along the concrete and exposed brick walls, asymmetric along the till counter block, and with spotlights on the runners on the ceiling. The show is softened down in the fitting rooms, with nothing but indirect lighting except for the figurative intensity of a number of candelabras. 

Weissbard’s theatrical background was seen as being perfect to create the drama of a Hugo Boss flagship store. The lighting effects continue throughout the day so that the customer doesn’t get bored with the surroundings. However, it is in the night-time that the dynamic light escalates to create a theatrical show with the RGB system.

Ledon HEDERA fittings are positioned on the ground and on the ceiling of the walls in two different versions: RGB to create coloured light, and 3-white light LEDs (warm white, neutral white, cold white). The choice of secondary optics provides a wealth of lighting options. HEDERA can therefore provide long-range, high-intensity or wide-angle lighting as required. The high-power LEDs are controlled via DMX512.

Ledon CAPIX LED chains are recessed into the wooden mesh construction on the ceiling. The solution features three RGB LEDs and creates soft, dynamic light. It consists of light points and combined data and power supply lines. The intelligent control system not only produces colours and effects but also enables videos to be played.

Ledon LED lines consisting of neutral white and cold white LEDs are mounted on the backside of the wooden mesh indirectly illuminating the surrounding walls.

Environmentally sustainable architecture is very much on the agenda at Matteo Thun & Partners, so the LED lighting system fits perfectly within the remit given to Weissbard by Thun. The flagship store is a new concept when it comes to the Hugo Boss branding. It is also a new concept when it comes to the lighting. One that will surely stand the test of time.


A combination of Zumtobel VIVO spotlights and Ledon LEDs create different light scenes throughout the day, turning into a theatrical show at night
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