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Galeries Lafayette was established as a small Parisian haberdashery in 1893. In 1912, by its windows, steel cupola and Art Nouveau style were added, it got its present look. Now, in partnership with the Demsa Group, Galeries Lafayette launched its 5th international flagship in Istanbul’s Emaar Square Mall. YOO Architecture undertaken the construction of Galeries Lafayette’s 11 thousand square meters as the general contractor and completed it within 15 months.

A High-End Retail Fit Out Journey in Istanbul Begins

We began our preparation only one month prior to the work on the site get started. We read the whole project with years of experience in high-end contract and high-end retail fit out, and quickly adapted to its all conditions during the implementation phase. We went over the project with Demsa and the design team, making critical evaluations and sharing our thoughts before we starting to prepare the shop drawings by using the insights we’d gained. For furniture mock-ups, we immediately began to negotiate with the companies from our own supply chain.

The most important task for us as general contractor was the coordination of the construction process. YOO Architecture handled all the supporting companies, technical team, and design groups of 120 stores-within-a-store while Emaar Square Mall was still under construction. All the permits, proposals, approvals, manufacturing, procurement and assembly processes were directed by YOO Architecture’s meticulous team. Comprehensive planning and impeccable organization are crucial to make a high-end contract a success.

Parisian Vibes in Istanbul With Luxury Shop Fit Out Project

We received the concept projects from Plajer & Franz Studio, who designed the overall concept for the Galeries Lafayette Department Store. We prepared the field application plans and submitted them for the approval, upon receiving approval we started to work. We processed the concept of Galeries Lafayette, which transformed from classical architecture to modern structure, in every detail of the store. In particular, we played an important role with the designer Plajer & Franz Studio in bringing the cupola, which were built in Paris in 1912, here with its main characters structurally and giving a more contemporary appearance to it.

The settlement process in Galeries Lafayette of the luxury brands, which were going to be in Turkish market for the first time, was also pretty tough. As the bridge of correspondence between our customer and the brands, we created separate solutions with each brand. We made the necessary meetings and correspondences for the adaptation of the brands to the luxury store design and followed it up during the implementation phase. According to time and price performance preferences, we adapted the projects of the global brands to the field. While some companies made their own production and received assembly support from us, we helped some global brands both during the manufacturing and assembly stages. In the project of Galeries Lafayette, which is designed as a centre of attraction with more than 120 brands, we have ensured both keeping up with the general concept and also separating all the brands from each other spatially. In a high-end retail fit out project, especially an immense one like this, the general contractor should foresee all the challenges ahead, create efficient solutions and easily adapt to the processes required to finalize it.

To Create A “WOW “Effect in a High-end Retail Fit Out

The master piece of the store had to create a ''WOW'' effect like the the cupolo on Boulevard Haussmann in Paris, but it also had to have a more contemporary feel. The cupola, which connets 3 floors to the center, has a trace similar to that of Haussmann. The metal fabrication of the circular cupola with a diameter of 15.7 meters manufactured in Germany. The only thing we were fully in charge of was the architectural planning of the dome. We undertook the detailing of the project, the measuring, carrier elements, the procurement of the materials, along with the coordination and task assignation between all the companies. We discussed mock-ups with manufacturer and received all the details regarding to its assembly details. We wanted to separate each piece of the dome into different segments in the dimensions we conveyed over the studied pattern. We shared this with the manufacturer and completed the assembly by using the scaffolding we set up in the atrium. The cupola consists of 35 slices and 3 separate parts with no visible attachments. By working meticulously on each piece and segment, we skilfully removed the attachments and achieved the final shape of the cupola.

The End of A High-End General Contract

The technical problems of the Istanbul Emaar Square Mall, which was under construction, were solved together with the shopping centre. Galeries Lafayette, which was tried to be established in a building that does not have a facade yet; It became one of the first stores completed thanks to our meticulous, planned and solution-oriented team.

We are proud that we were able to satisfy and prevent from encountering problems all the associated companies such as Demsa, the luxury brands and the shopping centre during the project.

Besides, we are happy to be involved in the project of Galeries Lafayette which preferred to open its fifth store in Istanbul after Berlin, Beijing, Jakarta and Dubai and provided the world's most prestigious brands to be in the market of Turkey for the first time. And as a general contractor, we successfully finished another high-end retail fit out we are proud of.