Palacio de Hierro Satélite Reopening Is Back-to-the-Future Extravaganza
By THÉRÈSE MARGOLIS
They say that love is more wonderful the second time around.
And the residents of Mexico City’s bedroom town Ciudad Satélite, in Naucalpan, State of Mexico, got an extraordinary opportunity to prove that adage true on Wednesday, Nov. 1, when the Palacio de Hierro department store inside the Plaza Satélite shopping mall reopened its doors with all the glitz, glamor, well-deserved fanfare and breathless anticipation that made the relaunching an event for the social registry record books.
The high-end luxury store — the gold standard for impeccable good taste and flawless quality nationwide — first opened in Satélite as the epitome of uncompromised bespoke elegance back in the early 1960s, when the city of Satélite became the situ of choice for the capital’s up-and-coming classes who wanted the peace and calm of a home just outside the urban rush but still within reach of Mexico’s pulsating commercial and political heart, where family values prevailed in an ambience of modern art and design tempered by understated grace and reserved distinction.
The renovation of the Palacio de Hierro property in Satélite took a total of 33 months, and bore a price tag of a whopping 3 billion pesos, all under the careful supervision of the renowned architectural firm TPG.
The massive, 37,604-square-meter palace, stretched out over four floors and towering over the entire shopping mall complex, is a magnificent blend of modern technology and contemporary grandeur with a nostalgic nod to the stately history and iconic past of the satellite city itself.
Consolidating the latest cutting-edge digital computers and automation, the store has a total of 250 totally integrated order and payment stations to facilitate quick and secure purchases with no-touch screens and fully encrypted data.
The theme of the new Palacio reflects Ciudad Satélite’s most quintessential sculptures, the five soaring, 52-meter-high, primary-colored towers that mark the gateway to the suburb for vehicles entering along the Periférico Highway from Mexico City, the magnum opus creation of Mexican master architect Luis Barragán, painter Jesús Reyes Ferreira (known for his love of indigenous and traditional handicrafts) and German-born Mexican sculptor Mathias Goeritz, who led the country’s transition to “emotional architecture” in the early 1950s.
Inaugurated in 1958 and considered to be one of the Mexico’s first urban sculptures of great dimensions, the Torres of Satélite encompass the cultural essence of the now-historic suburb, and clearly take center stage in the new Palacio de Hierro store.
The revamped Palacio de Hierro reinterprets the Ciudad Satélite tower in the form of four opulent atrium columns that loft to a height of more than 22 meters, crossing every level of the store.
Palacio de Hierro, which has always incorporated works of fine art into its structures, also commissioned seven spectacular murals inside the premises, each inspired by the unique history and culture of Ciudad Satélite and highlighting the innovative local talent of pioneering young plastic artists such as Eduardo Zendejas, Daniel Escobedo and Alexis Agustín Sámano.
In keeping with the new all-inclusive experiences motif of the Palacio de Hierro brand nationwide, the renovated Satélite property likewise has one-of-a-kind lifestyle adventures that run the gamut from an 18-kitchen palace terraza with gourmet dining to a premiere Origins beauty corner with clean-and-green brands and a pampering nail bar, dry bar and hair studio services.
There is also a Hello Yellow immersive space with products anchored in the Totalmente Palacio identity, and a specialty coffee bar offering the finest blends from around the world.
The store’s chic barbershop recaptures a bygone era of highly personalized masculine grooming, and the clean industry junction provides dedicated care for sports shoes and exercise gear.
The Natural Gourmet department has an entire cafeteria of light and healthy gastronomy and customers can find everything to indulge their pets in the Aristopet section of the store.
The opening extravaganza included a musical medley of 1960s favorites performed by wrap-around-the-escalators artists and modern jazz saxophonists billowing from atop the highest store columns, while waiters decked out in dark suits and black look-at-me facial stripes handed out glasses of deliciously brut Moët & Chandon Champaign and warm, barely-sweetened dark cacao brews.
In tribute to Ciudad Satélite’s longstanding culinary traditions, there were strategically located fresh sweet bread stations and corn-husk tamale stands on every floor.
The by-invitation-only guest list read like a who’s who of Mexico’s well-heeled fashion elite and virtually every designer brand — national and international — was represented by the crème de la crème of style nobility.
A fashion parade marked of some of these most exclusive designs for next season marked the culmination of the event.
In short, the reopening of the Plaza Satélite Palacio de Hierro was a marvelous blend of past, present and future, and a promise of true love rekindled for the country’s finest luxury brand department store.