If architecture defines an experience, then the new Pronovias Bridal Shop on East 52nd Street in New York is a bricks-and-mortar wedding cake. Its dynamic vertical façade, clad in transparent and screen-printed glass, dominates the block between Madison and Fifth avenues.
A global leader in luxury bridal wear, the Spanish retailer recognized the significance of having a prominent presence in Manhattan. Its New York flagship occupies all seven floors of a 25,000-square-foot building. The top floor houses Pronovias’ U.S. satellite offices, while the sixth story is the events floor, where in-house fashion shows and private viewings are held.
The five selling floors below feature a wide range of choices. The designer floors on four and five offer gowns from Valentino to Manuel Mota at price points ranging from $3000 to $15,000. The proprietary Pronovias brand is housed on the first three floors with product from $1500 to $3000. Each floor is an individual boutique that provides a personalized experience.
A horizontal reception desk welcomes guests and draws them into the boutique. The geometry of the desk, coupled with a grouping of horizontal light boxes, offer a dynamic polarity to a grand, vertical entryway. The bride is given a look book and introduced to a consultant to discuss the wedding plans and venue. The consultant then brings her to the appropriate room.
Each floor has a grouping of five or six fitting rooms with an adjacent sitting area where family and friends can watch the bride’s fashion show and help her find the perfect dress. Guests can enjoy a cup of coffee or tea in the recessed kitchen areas located on every other floor.
Architecture plays an important role throughout the environment. The Barcelona-based visual merchandising team took full advantage of the height of the open entry lobby and the glass handrail around the second floor balcony. Stylized glossy mannequins, designed specially for Pronovias by Marcelo Vila (Barcelona, Spain), anchor the upward sweep of the front window, which stretches from street level toward the second-floor balcony. The window and the glass façade bring the inside out, projecting the brand onto the street.
While the grandness of the total boutique is striking, the vertical format provides an intimacy on each individual floor not found in a horizontal plan. A spiral staircase links the two designer floors and a skylight splashes natural light into a common area. Accessories cabinets are hidden discreetly behind sliding frosted glass doors; the bride remains the focus and the showpiece.
Transaction zones feature warm wood tones and subtle floral arrangements with soft task lighting above. Contemporary surface treatments include maple and wenge woods and pearlescent glass. They frame a space that is conducive to an intimate experience in which the bride is offered complete styling for the wedding day, from accessories, shoes and a honeymoon wardrobe to bridal party design.
The entire Pronovias approach is an understanding that the day a woman chooses her wedding dress is one of the most important and memorable of her life. This relationship is at the forefront from the moment the blushing bride first enters the boutique until the moment she says, “I do.”
Pronovias, Barcelona, Spain
GCA Architects, Barcelona, Spain
Outside Design Consultant
Kenneth Park Architects, New York (construction)
Marcelo Vila, Barcelona, Spain