The Devil may wear Prada, but Prada wears glasses—and wears them well at that. Originality has certainly made Prada one of the most influential fashion houses in the world, so when the Italian designer renovated its boutique on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills it also chose to incorporate unique glazing details. Completed in the first quarter of 2014, the company commissioned a highly skilled team to create a space that would represent the style and sophistication that has made its brand a premium status symbol world-wide.
Designed by San Francisco-based Brand & Allen, the project, awarded to GlasPro, represented a monumental logistical and technical challenge. The two 7- x 10-foot walls forming the structural and aesthetic focal points of the storefront were fabricated from eight layers of 3/4-inch thick, low-iron glass. Meticulously flat-polished and assembled in the company’s Santa Fe Springs, Calif., facility, the final lites weighed in at a staggering 6,500 pounds each.
“We shipped the panels to the job site flat on our trucks,” says Joe Green, Glaspro president. “The [glass installation subcontractor], Giroux Glass, used a specialty rigging company to roll the glass into position—a process that took eight hours per panel. There was minimal clearance at the space, as it was a remodel, so they had to maneuver the panels very cautiously and extremely slowly,” says Green.
According to Green, the successful completion of the job “raised the bar for what can be accomplished in architectural glass to a new level.” The end result is a fashion-forward testament to what the marriage of vision and technology can achieve.