Following a collaboration that began in 2018 between DCA Milan and the Kriemler brothers for the development of a new Store Concept, the first AKRIS prototype store opened in Washington DC. AKRIS is an international fashion house founded in Saint Gallen, Switzerland in 1922, its name is an acronym of Alice Kriemler– Schoch, the company’s founder. Ownership has since passed down the family and is now in the hands of the founder’s grandchildren, Albert and Peter Kriemler.
DCA Milan’s design intent for the project was to enhance the materiality and fine craftsmanship of AKRIS collections through a solid, three-dimensional architecture associated with a light display system, defining a space where carefully chosen materials take center stage.
All the display elements are intentionally reduced to the minimum and are formed by a series of taut cables that support shelves and hangers with the aim of displaying the products as if they were magically suspended within an architectural box of limestone and wood. The design references Bruno Munari’s tensile spatial structures, whose fundamental nature lies in contrasting two opposing forces: tension and compression.
Inside the store, pre-shaped wood paneling of white-painted maple clads the walls, hosting the display system and showcasing the collections against a neutral backdrop, all set alongside the flooring in grey limestone.
Suspended from the ceiling, stainless steel mesh partitions act as filters, subdividing the boutique and enhancing the sense of depth without obstructing the view. Together with the counters in natural anodized aluminum, these partitions interrupt the flow within the boutique, creating a fluidity of movement and a sense of transparency.
In the fitting rooms, ivory-colored horsehair fabric – AKRIS’s signature material – and cool grey melange felt have been chosen for the walls and ceiling. In contrast, an ivory-colored wool carpet covers the floor.