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When you walk into the newly opened Loewe store inside the Design District, don't be surprised if your feet come to a sudden halt. Ours did, because it's not every day that you run into a massive 18th-century hórreo (that's Spanish for granary) parked right in the center of a luxury store.
At 36 feet long, the stone barn is breathtaking, and you may feel as though you've just walked into some silent ritualistic ceremony of sorts, with Loewe's iconic Amazona and Flamenco bags acting as the sacrifices. Relieve yourselves to know that it's not, for these stone barns are actually quite utilitarian. Hórreos have been used since the Middle Ages to store and dry harvest in areas northwest of the Iberian Peninsula. This one in particular was directly imported from a small town near the border of Galicia and Portugal, and represents how something can take a different form in a different space, from entirely functional to breathtakingly expressive.
Otherwise, the Loewe store is quite simplistic in its beauty. There are no rotating galleries along its signature stark-white walls, accessories are laid out on glass tables underneath the hórreo in an exhibit-like way, and Loewe's latest Spring 2015 line of clothing hangs humbly on a small rack behind a glass wall.
It's a grand gesture for the brand's first U.S. store, designed by Creative Director Jonathan Anderson, and was inspired directly from the tale of the mountain coming to Muhammad, and worked directly with a company that does installations for the British Museum. The structure is borrowed for 10 years though, so this particular nod to Loewe's cultural roots has a lengthy expiration date.