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Department stores can feel sprawling, overwhelming, and maze-like, and occasionally even run-down. Not so with Barneys’s downtown flagship in New York City, located on the same Chelsea block where founder Barney Pressman opened his original store in 1923.
This Barneys, opened in February 2016, is noteworthy for its design, specifically its outstanding staircase. A massive spiral behemoth, the staircase snakes through the center of the store to connect every floor. The impressive structural statement was designed by architect Steven Harris, whose vision for the store was intended to create an intimate environment — including eliminating escalators.
The impressive yet warm design of the Barneys staircase is echoed throughout the store, from the plush carpeting and velvet seating to the tightly curated selection of designer clothing. It’s all impossibly luxurious yet surprisingly inviting; after all, the staircase, grand as it is, is meant for shoppers.