Porcelanosa ceramics at Madison Square

Foster+Partners is studio that curated the new Flagship Store of Porcelanosa, situated within the landmark Madison Square North History District. The location is strategic: opposite the Flatiron Building in Manhattan, the former Commodore Criterion – of the early XX century – has been refurbished in a contemporary way, keeping with the historic elements, in line with the brand’s philosophy.

The transformation of the building  was an opportunity to improve its energy performance: cooling is achieved through efficient plumbing fixtures and more than half of the waste produced during construction was recycled.

After the multiple alterations and repairs of the fragmented frontage , the new design restores the terracotta tiled façade, while including the new “Porcelanosa” lettering on the parapet.

A numeber of window openings that had been blocked have been reinstated, and consistent with the overall rhythm of the façade, larger windows have been introduced on the ground floor filling the triple-height interiors of the showroom with daylight.

Working within the historic frontage, new visual connections are generated vertically through the building by introducing a series of interlocking levels, with mezzanines, triple and double-height spaces, and a light well. Like many neoclassical buildings in New York City, the Criterion was designed as a stack of six identical, rectangular floors with centrally located staircase. In order to improve the showcasing of the products, the vertical circulation has been relocated to the side of the building facing Broadway to optimize the size and shape of the showroom space. The timber floorplates have also been replaced with concrete slabs to meet present-day fire code specifications, while creating a flexible new sequence of interior spaces more suited to a showroom.