Frey Wille




Plajer & Franz Studio



Galeries Lafayette opened in 1893 as a small Parisian haberdashery in 1893. In 1912, its windows, steel cupola and Art Nouveau style were added, which is how it looks today. Now, in partnership with the Demsa Group, it opened its 5th international flagship in Istanbul’s Emaar Square Mall. arcoglobal oversaw the construction of Galeries Lafayette’s 11.000m² as general contractor, with building completed in 15 months.


We began our preparation process just one month before work on the site began. We read through the project and quickly adapted to all its conditions during the implementation phase. We went over the project with Demsa and the design team, making critical evaluations and sharing our thoughts before we started to prepare shop drawings using the insights we’d gained. For furniture mockups, we immediately began to negotiate with companies from our own supply chain. The most important task for us as general contractor was the coordination of the construction process. arcoglobal handled the supporting companies, technical team, and design groups around these 120 stores-within-a-store as Emaar Square Mall was still under construction. All permits, proposals, approvals, manufacturing, procurement processes and assembly was directed by arcoglobal's meticulous team.
We received projects from interior designer Plajer & Franz project GmbH, who designed the overall concept for the Galeries Lafayette department store. We got the locale’s application plans and started work upon receiving approval. We worked on each and every detail of Galeries Lafayette as its classic architectural feel turned into a more modern concept. The cupola in particular is a nod to the 1912 original and brings that character over here along with a more contemporary look and feel, in all of which designers Plajer & Franz played an important role. The masterpiece of the store is its cupola. The “Wow” effect needed to be the same as the famous cupola on Boulevard Haussmann in Paris, only with a more contemporary feel. The cupola bears the traces of the original and connects the 3-storey center. We had the 15.7m steel dome produced in Germany. The only thing we were fully in charge of was the architectural planning of the dome. We undertook the project’s details, the measuring, the procurement of materials, and the coordination and task assignation between all other companies.

We discussed mockups with manufacturing companies and received all details regarding its mounting. We wanted to separate each piece of the dome into different segments in line with the design. We shared this with the manufacturer and completed the assembly using the scaffolding we installed in the atrium. The cupola is made up of 35 segments and 3 parts. We worked tirelessly over each part and segment, and after removing the inserts the cupola was finalized. The luxury segment branding for Galeries Lafayette, a first for Turkey, was an incredibly challenging process. We created separate solutions for each of our brands and acted as a bridge between our customers and the inter-brand competition. We met with all representatives and pursued hours of correspondence before and during the implementation process to help brands adapt to us as a retailer. We adapted these global brands’ projects locally according to time and performance indicators. During the production and supply phase, we determined our business partners and which companies to work with. Some companies just required set-up from us as they produced their own manufacturing, whereas we helped other global brands in both manufacturing and assembly. Galeries Lafayette was designed as the center of attention with over 120 brands’ original concepts maintained while also spatially separating out their differences from one another.

Technical problems relating to the construction of Istanbul Emaar Square Mall were solved in conjunction with the shopping center. Galeries Lafayette rose up along with the shopping center. Despite the façade not being complete, Galeries Lafayette was one of the first shops completed in the shopping center due to its meticulous, well-planned and solution-focused team. We’re proud to have played a part in making Istanbul the 5th flagship for Galeries Lafayette after Berlin, Beijing, Jakarta and Dubai. It’s the first time this most prestigious brand has come to Turkey. We are happy to have worked with Demsa, the brands involved and the shopping center project and happy to have made sure that no problems arose throughout the whole process.