31 in 31: #23

This is a series for August 2010 which documents my on-the-ground -- and on-the-webs -- research for my guidebook to contemporary NYC architecture (to be released next year by W. W. Norton). Archives can be found at the bottom of the post and via the 31 in 31 label.

Yohji Yamamoto

Early discussions with my editor led me to remove most retail, restaurants and other ephemeral projects from my guidebook. They come and go so quickly that designs might disappear between handing in the manuscript and when the book finally hits the stores. But the boutique junya.ishigami+associates designed for Yohji Yamamoto near the Meatpacking District was an exception, mainly because it's a building, not just an interior. The architect cleverly split an existing brick building in two, also giving the tip a curve and setting frameless glass into the brick walls. Simple yet powerful. Yet what did I see over the weekend (below)? Brown paper over the lower portion of the storefront glass and a sign that the space is for lease. Does the remove the project from my book? While at first I was disappointed, I doubt the next occupant will dramatically alter the building. It's too unique, striking; it's a keeper. As designed by ishigami for Yamamoto, the architecture and the fashion had a synergy that elevated each. So it will be interesting to see if what fills the corner works with the architecture.

Yohji Yamamoto, formerly

#1 - Phyto Universe
#2 - One Bryant Park
#3 - Pier 62 Carousel
#4 - Bronx River Art Center
#5 - The Pencil Factory
#6 - Westbeth Artists' Housing
#7 - 23 Beekman Place
#8 - Metal Shutter Houses
#9 - Bronx Box
#10 - American Academy of Arts and Letters
#11 - FDR Four Freedoms Park
#12 - One Madison Park
#13 - Pio Pio Restaurant
#14 - Queens West (Stage II)
#15 - 785 Eighth Avenue
#16 - Big BambĂș
#17 - Event Horizon
#18 - Murano
#19 - William Lescaze House
#20 - Morgan Library and Museum
#21 - MTA Flood Mitigation
#22 - Wilf Hall