Inspired by Bruno Munari's Tensile Structures, the essential and ethereal boutique designed by David Chipperfield Architects Milan for the Akris fashion house in Washington DC is based on tension and support between stretched cables

The sophisticated project by DCA - David Chipperfield Architectes Milan for the boutique Akris in Washington DC refers to the tensile structures of Bruno Munari, three-dimensional abstract sculptures whose skeleton is configured and balanced by the contrast between two opposing forces: tension and compression.

All the display elements are deliberately reduced to minimum: a series of taut cables support shelves and coat hangers. The clothes and accessories appear magically suspended within the interior of an architectural box of limestone and wood.

The collaboration between DCS Milano Swiss brand Akris

The opening in Washington DC of the first prototype Akris store follows the collaboration for the development of a new concept store started in 2018 between the DCA Milano studio and the Kriemler brothers, owners of the international fashion house founded in Saint Gallen , in Switzerland, in 1922. The second store was recently opened in Tokyo , Japan.

A solid architecture and a lightweight display system

The intent of the DCA Milano studio was to enhance the materiality and the high craftsmanship of the Akris collections through a solid and three-dimensional architecture combined with a light display system, capable of defining a space in which materials carefully selected, become protagonists.

Panels as wings

Inside the boutique a series of pre-shaped white maple panels covers the walls, hosting the display system and highlighting the collections in front of a neutral backdrop, juxtaposed with the limestone floor gray.

Transparency and fluidity

Suspended from the ceiling, partitions in metal mesh in stainless steel act as a filter and mark the spaces of the boutique, enhancing their depth, without hindering the eye. Together with the display tables in natural anodized aluminum, the essential and evanescent partitions interrupt the flow inside the boutique to create fluidity of movement and convey a feeling of transparency.

The fabrics lining the dressing rooms

To cover the walls and ceiling of the dressing rooms, ivory-colored horsehair fabric, a material belonging to the Akris tradition, and gray mélange felt were chosen, while a carpet of ivory wool.