As part of the renovation of Printemps, the Paris department store founded in 1865, a 43- by 26-foot void was cut into each floor, introducing a new central atrium and circulation space that allows visitors to move more easily through all levels, from the lower ground floor to the ninth.
UUfie’s concave, veil-like screen, 84-feet high, 41-feet wide and weighing 24 tons, rises along one side of the void. The screen’s sculpted curved surface is punctured by over 17,000 flower petal-like openings based on a stained-glass detail in the store’s corner domes. Some of the openings are filled with dichroic glass, which changes colour in synch with the visitor’s viewing angle.
Across from the screen, on the opposite side of the void, a one-way mirror wall conceals 12 newly installed escalators. The phantom image of the reflected screen combines with the real one to create an enthralling illusory widened elliptical void.