Casablanca: spatial autonomy
Nothing can let the passerby foresee that behind the shopfront of Boutique Casablanca, located in Las Mercedes, there is something more to be seen than the exclusive garments sold by this prestigious store. However, once the brief entrance is overcome, the visitor encounters an architectural masterpiece with a “compact” and “fluid” space that allows navigation in several levels. This establishment has well-defined spaces for the six brands that, each in its own scope, encounter here their worthy representation. “The ‘Casablanca’ concept had to prevail over the other brands”, explains Carlos Guevara, the architect of the building.
The store is a single space with several curved stories, distributed in four levels. These are connected by three types of staircases that generate different rhythms. The skylight lightens the entire store during the day, also the natural internal gardens. “The use of natural lighting gives the impression that the space is larger”, states Guevara.
The autonomy required by each brand is conferred by the different levels, staircases and gardens, used as separating elements. The rest is achieved by the furnishing, built mainly in light colored woods. The only exception is Versace, where the woods are darker, and combined with steel elements.
The perimeters are also defined by different toned floors that show the way from one area to another. As an example, slate stone was used in the cashier and common access section; in the higher level, dedicated to Versace, white Carrara marble and black Marquina marble; the black sapphire stone is the signal for Hugo Boss; the Giallo marble defines the Max Mara area.
The columns with different colored stone finish, work as an integrating factor of the whole set, being a common vertical element for all the sectors. The same is achieved with the metallic railings, “that become transparent” so as to not obstruct the vision of the whole store. Besides the columns, the most visible interior architectural figures are the landing of the main staircase and the skylight of the curved level that frames the Avila Mountain, like a photograph.
The directionality of the design makes the viewing experience a natural thing. At the same time, the different shopfronts and views from one level to another, “invite” the visitor to transpose the areas. The staircases, apparently long, only go up half levels, so that going up is not perceived as an unnecessary exercise.
Carlos Guevara was born in 1967 in the State of Carabobo. In 1992, based on his experimental knowledge and self-taught studies in Interior Design and Architecture, he created his own studio: Carlos Guevara Associate Architects. Currently, some important projects take up his time, among them the Casa Virginia building in the Dominican Republic; the Arbitare building in Las Mercedes and the DF house in Margarita Island.