Luxury-inspired Façade

Situated within Miami’s Design District, the Louis Vuitton retail store is the first freestanding LV men’s store in the United States and the second in the world. At more than 3,500 square feet, the store honors the Miami Design District with its modern industrial theme featuring exposed brick and concrete, as well as work from local artists.

One-of-a-kind custom perforated metal plates pays homage to the iconic Louis Vuitton brand

By Marcy Marro

Photo: Brennan Photo + Video

Located on the corner of 39th Street and First Avenue, the interior of the store features a curved stair with blue leather handrails and two floors of contemporary luxury retail. Its open design and décor are a unique departure from the company’s usual aesthetic.

Designed by Adam Golinczak Architecture PC (AGA Architects), Highland, N.Y., the store also became a tribute to Virgil Abloh, the Louis Vuitton men’s artistic director who passed in November 2021, shortly before the store’s opening during Miami’s Design Week.

Photo: Brennan Photo + Video


The exterior façade is where the architects and owners let creativity run wild, while making a jaw-dropping statement about the elegance and prestige of the Louis Vuitton brand. Inspired by a piece from the Objets Nomades collection called “Diamond Screen,” the brass and leather partition from Amsterdam-based Marcel Wanders Studios reinterprets Louis Vuitton’s historic monogram motif and the canework that once adorned its trunks.

The architectural rework of the Diamond Screen pattern is made up of an all-white perforated plate rainscreen, fabricated and installed by MG McGrath Inc., Maplewood, Minn. The façade consists of 5,000 square feet of plate paneling in a Simple White Kynar finish. The 250 custom panels were cut in-house on a 4,000-watt CNC fiber-optic laser. MG McGrath also installed tracks for the backlighting, which consists of approximately 500 white and RGB lights, as well as stainless steel accent pieces.

Photo: Brennan Photo + Video

Design and Fabrication

Mike McGrath, head of operations at MG McGrath, notes the company was engaged early on by the design team and worked through the mock-ups, custom patterns, attachment design, lighting integration, signage integration, and the custom glass and stainless steel storefront systems, which were all retrofitted into an existing space. “For us,” he says, “early involvement is key to a project’s success. The more details, project needs, and challenges are communicated and worked through up front, the easier, faster, and more successful the fabrication and installation goes.”

Working alongside Louis Vuitton, AGA Architects and Dickinson Cameron, New York City, the general contractor, MG McGrath utilized an entirely digital workflow. All components were fabricated directly from a BIM model, which McGrath says allowed all teams involved in the project to easily review the designs and ensure a seamless transition of material and design move from concept to completion.

For the fabrication process, McGrath explains, “We fabricated all the custom façade panels in-house and performed the fabrication, welding and dry fitting of all of the façade panels in our shop. Once assembled and approved in our shop, the panels were disassembled for crating and shipment to our coating vendor in Wisconsin to get a beautiful Simply White Kynar finish and then shipped to the project site for install. We built everything virtually, then on the shop floor, and ultimately in the field.”

CNC fiber-optic laser used to fabricate the panels runs autonomously and at a rate of nearly 10-times similar equipment, McGrath says. “This is where the digital BIM work came in handy because the cutting pattern could be programmed into the laser and left to run on its own. This laser operates way faster than our old one and sped up production times by allowing our fabrication crew to work on other fabrication tasks while the laser cut the panels on its fully-automated function. The was great because we had a pretty aggressive schedule.”

In addition to the metal panels, MG McGrath also installed tracks for the backlighting, which consists of approximately 500 white and RGB lights, as well as stainless steel accent pieces. As McGrath shares, the company fabricated custom clips and tray channels to conceal the lighting and fixed the angle of the lights, so it looked uniform and prevented any unintended light leakage.

Photo: Brennan Photo + Video


The installation of the façade took less than three months and was done over the top of the existing concrete façade wall with the exact same geometry. “The design was adapted to the existing conditions of the building,” McGrath explains. “This added a lot of complexity with the custom-cut façade panels and maintaining the continuity of the pattern while highlighting some very subtle detailing of the façade. We also experienced several different field conditions that needed to be engineered for construction.”