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Center Stage

Value-fashion retailer Cuesta Blanca reflects a theatrical look and feel in its downtown Buenos Aires, Argentina, store




Cuesta Blanca’s grand, black-and-gold-patterned façade, with its double-height black glass window, stands out along Buenos Aires’ bustling Santa Fe Avenue in Argentina. “It’s on a very important corner,” says Daniel Botner, architect at Botner-Pecina Arquitectos (Buenos Aires, Argentina), which transformed the 14,000-square-foot former cinema complex space – and the retailer’s largest store yet – into a flagship with a high-end aesthetic that’s also a nod to luxurious movie theaters of yore. “We made a special pattern in the façade that’s illuminated so [when] you walk or drive down the street, it’s impossible not to see it,” he says.

The Buenos Aires, Argentina-based fast-fashion retailer’s show-stopping exterior helps unify the upper levels of the four-level store with the ground floor (it shares the corner with several other smaller retailers) by encouraging discovery. “There is more space on the upper levels, and we were afraid that people would enter and only see the ground floor,” Botner says. “So we worked with a lot of reflection to make people go up.”

Mirrored ceilings, walls and reflective surfaces, such as the high-gloss black flooring, draw the eye upward. Video walls airing branded messages and lifestyle imagery appear double-height, thanks to the mirrored surfaces above them. Linear gold-hued lighting illuminates the staircases and escalators to visually connect the spaces and reinforce upward movement. On the top floor, the shopping journey culminates with a gold elliptical ceiling element that mimics the look of a luxury bronze mirror – but is instead constructed of a lightweight, mirror-like fabric.

The sleek black interior, accented with gold, has a glamourous aesthetic that makes the merchandise the star. “With a black palette, you don’t see the ceilings or the walls,” Botner says. “You see the clothes, the gold details and all the things [we] want you to see.”

It’s that color palette – plus materials like eye-catching red velvet curtains in the dressing room area, polished brass and the theater-style canopy at the entrance – that give the store its theatrical style. “The idea is to take customers to a different scene,” Botner says, “almost like a movie set that allows for a tasteful, fun [and] exotic experience.”

Check out the video below of Cuesta Blanca's renovation, provided by Botner-Pecina Arquitectos, Buenos Aires, Argentina



Cuesta Blanca, Buenos Aires, Argentina

Design and Architecture 
Botner-Pecina Arquitectos, Buenos Aires, Argentina

General Contractor
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Photography: Gustavo Sosa Pinilla, Buenos Aires, Argentina



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