Javier Carvajal & his Loewe Stores #Javier Carvajal
In 1957 Enrique Loewe Kappe commissioned the young architect Javier Carvajal to design a new store for his firm in the Serrano Street, Madrid. Loewe and Carvajal had met in the XI Triennale di Milano, where Carvajal, together with José María García de Paredes, built the Spanish stand. The stand displayed products by Loewe among other items such as the Toro Armchair by Miguel Fisac or the Barceloneta Lounge Chair by Coderch, Correa and Milá.
“(…) as long as the life of men tends to be developed in an artificial environment, the aesthetic quality of this world has got an utter importance.”Julio Cano Lasso, Sobre la arquitectura de Carvajal, 1991
Carvajal played a decisive role in the modernisation of Loewe’s corporate image. It was originally a leather goods firm strongly associated to tradition, represented by its Beaux-Arts store on Gran Vía. But it turned to be seen as a provider of all kinds of sophisticated luxury goods, as the store in Serrano Street and the new the new company logo shown. He designed the premises in an elegant Rationalist Style with a strong influence from the Scandinavian New Empiricism that was noticeable in the Loewe Chair that Carvajal designed along the store. It was inspired by Hans Wegner and it combines a walnut wooden structure manufactured by craftsmen with leather straps and an upholstered cushion after Loewe’s tradition.
New premises for Loewe where built by Carvajal in Bilbao, Barcelona, Seville or London as the brand was being restyled. The most important of them was the company headquarters and showroom in Barcelona. These premises are a good example of the gradual shift of the company spirit from tradition and luxury towards sophistication and modernity.