The Burberry Chicago Flagship Store features a stainless steel facade system design-engineered and manufactured by Zahner. In the early 2000’s Burberry began a global transition to re-establish the Burberry name as an international brand. As part of this transition, a series of Burberry flagship projects were made, designed by Callison+Barteluce and Burberry Chief Creative Officer Christopher Bailey.
One of the core strategies of Burberry’s transformation has been the re-introduction of its core products through prominent flagship properties. Zahner has been involved as a facade supplier for many concept stores and flagship properties. Designers come to Zahner for the high-quality craft and innovative design-engineered details, which give these stores a sense of quality that moves a brand into museum-quality territory.
Burberry Chicago is no different. Completed in December 2012, the new building features a number of high quality connection details which give the building a unique aesthetic among Chicago architecture.
“What I love are the contradictions of the city. It’s a very artistic city, yet it’s also a real business city. It’s an imposing city, yet one with a lot of green space and an attention to outdoor sculpture. Chicago feels like a place where there’s an admiration for something that has a long heritage, and that of course appeals to us.”
Christopher BaileyBurberry Chief Creative Officer.
Zahner was brought onto the Burberry Chicago project to develop a black stainless steel facade and lighting system which would meet the highest standards of museum-quality metalwork desired by Burberry. Burberry’s in-house designers developed the vision, led by Chief Creative Officer Christopher Bailey. In an interview with Michigan Ave, Bailey described how Burberry’s vision meets Chicago aesthetics: “Chicago feels like a place where there’s an admiration for something that has a long heritage, and that of course appeals to us.”
The structure features Burberry’s signature check, rotated and fabricated as three-dimensional forms. The check motif has been a part of Burberry’s core identity since the early twentieth century. By simplifying the classic check as a solid graphic and expanding it as into three-dimensional form, the design team was able to successfully unify the brand’s core identity as an architectural icon.
Building the New Chicago Flagship
The facade is a unitized system featuring a black Ti-Stainless Steel (PVD) surface to create the Burberry’s three-dimensional check. PVD stainless steel can be colorized to meet a variety of tones, and is often used for luxury items such as timepieces and luxury architectural fixtures.
The facade for Burberry Chicago is the second in a series of flagship stores to use the dark reflective material. The first was in Shanghai, produced by a local manufacturer in China. Burberry provided to Zahner a small detail from the original facade. The sample was intelligently crafted but it didn’t mesh with the Zahner manufacturing process.
Zahner’s design and engineering team approached the details from a different perspective, employing heavier gauge stainless steel, v-notched corners, and a interlocking system for efficient installation of the metal panel design. The system is also deeply set, providing a strong sculptural feel to the building’s architectural accents.