Press Releases and Statements
Benetton opens the first store of the future in Istanbul
In the frame of its Opening Soon… project giving form to the Group’s innovative retail spaces around the world
Ponzano, November 18, 2009. Benetton has opened a spacious new store in Istanbul, the Turkish metropolis which in 2010 will be a European Capital of Culture. Designed by Piero Lissoni, this architecturally avant-garde store is perfectly in keeping with the city’s continuous transformation and its focus on the future. This is the first in a series of futuristic stores designed by renowned architects or design firms or by young talents, which will be built around the world as part of Benetton’s Opening Soon… project. A collection of innovative designs which manifest the future evolution of the Benetton retail space.
The new Benetton store is located in a rapidly-changing area of the city, the rich, Western-style Asian neighbourhood beyond the bridge over the Bosphorus. It occupies an entire building on Istanbul’s upmarket entertainment and international-shopping thoroughfare, Bagdad Avenue. Its eight floors, three of which are below street level, cover a total surface area of almost 2000 square metres and display the full range of United Colors of Benetton collections for men, women and children.
Piero Lissoni designed the eight-floor building (three floors are below street level) in the form of an installation of screens which project its own moving images to the exterior. A sort of luminous, changing tower, an irregular stack of monitors that the city observes and from which the city is observed.
“I imagined myself in a constantly-changing city,” said the architect, “and I sought to devise a building that is almost unfinished. The eight-floor construction is dynamically formed of a number of boxes irregularly piled one on top of the other, floating over a ground floor of glass. My vision is of drifting containers settled on a volume of light.”
The new Istanbul store is a mark of vibrant architectural and business-led innovation. It is the first in a series focused on the world and its transformation, which the Group has dedicated to one of the most ‘now’ cities on the planet. It is also a new step in Benetton’s history of retail space innovation, of particular significance in a global recession, testifying to the Group’s optimism and desire to invest in the future.
Zeynep Selgur, managing director of Benetton Turkey, confirmed that “Benetton Group has a high regard for Turkey and has continued to invest in the country over the past twenty-four years. Now, during a global economic crisis, it opens a store on Bagdad Avenue at a cost of some US$30m. The new Benetton megastore sets a model for future stores, it is the group’s key international project for 2009. An icon of brand identity, the store also represents one of the most important investments ever made in the Turkish retail sector. Benetton will continue to invest in Turkey, where we expect to close FY09 with a turnover of TRY104.5m.”
Benetton was the first major international brand to enter the Turkish market, in 1985. Turkey has always been a bridge between the peoples and cultures of the East and West. It has economic ties and a bond of friendship with Italy and strong expertise in the textile and clothing industry. Today, Benetton has 132 stores in Turkey.
Design: Lissoni Associati Milano
architect: Piero Lissoni
Location: Istanbul, Turkey
Address: Bagdad Avenue – Suadiye area
Surface area: approx. 2000 sq m
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This steel-framed building conforms to local urban planning regulations which are particularly stringent as this is an earthquake zone. The building’s exterior features huge windows and weathering-steel (Cor-Ten) cladding which not only creates a very striking visual effect but is also highly resistant to atmospheric corrosion and permits the use of much thinner steel plates.
The fittings take the form of a floor-to-ceiling system of black iron racks which create highly flexible accessory displays (untreated mdf shelves, frontal display units, side hangings etc.) and, on the floor, glossy white painted cubes with a stock drawer or black iron cubes which create a composition of various heights, serving as a platform. Full-length swivelling mirrors; o.s.b cupboards with double doors (which are always kept open); brightly-coloured graphics behind colourful, glossy till areas which include sets of drawers or displays of accessories. Full-height swivelling towers – used to display handbags, accessories or folded knitwear – characterize the setting. Changing rooms are made of jute cylinders suspended from the ceiling. Tracks of multicoloured LEDs are set into the stairwell walls; the lifts’ semi-transparent walls allow customers to see the floor numbers made of coloured neon tubing set into the lift-shaft. Milky-white resin flooring and white ceilings with inset spotlight. Of particular note is the small garden, on the second-lower-ground floor, planted with magnolias and cypresses and featuring a window which doubles as a point of natural light for the two sales floors below street level.
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