By  on February 17, 2009

Architects and fashion designers are kindred spirits of sorts, so who better than those who build buildings to envision a futuristic New York fashion scene?

WWD asked seven firms to brainstorm on what’s next for Seventh Avenue, preferably more George Jetson than garmento. Pentagram dreamed up a “horizontal skyscraper” with rooftop runwaylike structures connecting buildings so that “the fashion world gets a home where it deserves one; far above the street, high in the clouds.”

By chance, Tsao & McKown, Diane Lewis Architects NYC and HOK Sport were more down-to-earth with their respective approaches. Each imagined New York Fashion Week with a cinematic presence that allows passersby to catch some of the action as each runway model takes her turn.

With the fashion crowd trooping off to Lincoln Center for the shows starting next year, SYSTEMarchitects picked up on an idea that was quashed when the cultural landmark was built. Architect Philip Johnson’s proposal to complete the entry square with a colonnade was nixed by his fellow designers. SYSTEMarchitects modernized the concept by suggesting a new colonnade would house fashion week’s main runway, with the street as a muted backdrop.

An aside worth noting for designers in the throes of fashion week deadlines — with few exceptions, the architects proved they can push the envelope with the best of them.

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