David Chipperfield in the Heart of Vienna
Portrait. Quality and feel-good factor above self-expression and eccentricity: that is David Chipperfield’s architectural philosophy. The British architect is considered a master of minimalism. Reduced form and natural materials are the hallmarks of his work – regardless of whether it’s in a fashion boutique, museum or residential building.
May we introduce to you Mr. David Chipperfield:
- In truth, he actually wanted to become a vet. Born in London in 1953 and raised on a farm in the south-west of England, it was only by chance that Chipperfield discovered his love of architecture: his father, a farmer, bought another farm and converted it into holiday apartments. The future star architect was fascinated by this work. He later studied at the Kingston School of Art in London as well as at the Architectural Association. In 1984 he founded his own architecture firm. A passionate sailor in his free time, he now has branches in London, Berlin, Milan and Shanghai. In addition to buildings, he also designs tableware and furniture.
- A fan of Germany, one of his signature projects is the Neues Museum in Berlin, in which Chipperfield could be true to his typical style, combining the old and the new. Chipperfield is also an expert for shopping experiences. Here in Austria, Peek & Cloppenburg on Vienna’s Kärntnerstraße and the Kaufhaus Tyrol in Innsbruck bear his signature. As does the Valentino shop in the Goldenes Quartier.
- Chipperfield designed the fashion label’s worldwide store concept after Valentino’s retirement. He decided on a strict, monumental look: a cool, grey-white speckled marble background, which allows the ornamental fashion to really come into its own. With it, the Rome-based brand wanted to preserve the fashion house’s grace and elegance while at the same time appealing to a modern audience living in the digital age. Again and again, Chipperfield fuses reminders of former times with glimpses of the future – with the mirrored mosaic around the shoes, the black walnut accessories shelf or the grey leather in the fitting rooms. Valentino designers Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli wanted the architecture to pay tribute to the founder’s legacy: “David Chipperfield can convey complex ideas through an immediate sensory experience. He has successfully transformed Valentino’s iconography into a fluent and timeless entity by playing with contrasts and integrating minimalist baroque elements.”