enLIGHTenment – The Lighting Industry Trade Publication

The Leader in Luxury

Claudio Kaczka has created a design niche that has distinguished the latest boutiques from world-famous brands such as Dior, Dolce & Gabbana, Prada, Carolina Herrera, Givenchy, Apple, and most recently CHANEL Buenos Aires.

Photography by BIRKA

With a U.S. headquarters in Florida, architect Claudio Kaczka – Founder & Managing Director at BIRKA LLC and Intradesign Group – has made a name for himself in the U.S., Latin and South America, as well as the Caribbean as a master of visual merchandising in luxury retail. His expertise with detail-oriented clients who require staying “on-brand” while creatively inspiring shoppers landed him a broadcast interview with CNN Español, which aired to 64 million viewers in 24 countries.

Kaczka knows there is an incredible amount of marketing research and analytics that comes into play when opening a successful retail location — and it’s his job to incorporate all of it into the design, build out, and construction. With the help of his team at BIRKA, he specializes in creating eye-catching spaces that highlight the newest trends and products under the perfect lighting.

For the new CHANEL Buenos Aires boutique in the capital city of Argentina, the project was to be developed specifically within the historic “Galerias Pacifico” building, which has been declared a national monument due to its original significance to the city’s railroad system.

The ambiance for the Fragrance Bar is luxurious in appearance as if the consumer were shopping for fine jewelry.

Kaczka and his team were selected because of their hands-on knowledge of the space and their ability to seamlessly combine tradition and Modernism. The goal was to emanate luxury, translating the Parisian brand’s iconic image into the architecture. The edict was to make the consumer feel as if she were a part of the magic that makes CHANEL one of the most important luxury brands in the world.

For this CHANEL boutique, the space was divided into two principal areas. The first occupies most of the floor and showcases the make-up, skin treatments, and exclusive fragrances for men and women. The second area is a more private setting to recreate the feel of a boudoir or salon and provide a one-on-one shopping experience.

The fabrics that cover the walls, doors, and lamps were handmade by artisans in Denmark and were brought in specifically for the store. Incorporated into the design was the traditional tweed found in all of Cocó Chanel’s collections, done in a way that accentuates warmth and glamor while paying homage to the brand’s classic palette in black and white, with touches of gold and gray.

The design commemorates the classic compositions of renowned Dutch painter Piet Mondrian, featuring walls full of color as a backdrop to the skin treatments and fragrance bar that exude classic French elegance.

All of the elements and furnishings were made to order and custom fit by BIRKA. The furniture was specifically conceptualized, designed, and built out for this space — including the LED panels that illuminate to 5500K to bring attention to the true color of the products. The glossy black furnishings have multiple finish layers to create a deep luster. The crystal mirrors are back-coated with a bi-directional stainless steel to surpass the highest quality mirrors on the market. These customized mirrors were made to pivot and transition on stainless steel hinges that take advantage of the carefully placed lighting that imitates outdoor sunlight.

“All of these carefully selected details are a part of what is required to create the perfect setting for a new luxury boutique — nothing is left to chance. Each piece is studied, drawn, developed, and tested to ensure the success of each project. It is with great pride that we incorporate all this experience and knowledge into every project we take on,” Kaczka states.

In addition to the steady flow of luxury retail projects coming in, the members of the BIRKA team are eager to explore a new niche: renovating residential buildings and lobbies. The team intends to enrich the lives of the people who reside in every building they renovate while increasing the value of the properties for their developer clients. The BIRKA team will be bringing their “Wow Factor” to buildings that typically would never see this level of luxury in a renovation for the budgets provided by condo associations. Stay tuned for more and more BIRKA renovations in U.S. cities in the future. 

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