LION BRAND YARN STUDIO
34 West 15th Street
Designer: David Gauld Architect
Located in East Chelsea on the ground floor of a 1920s loft building, Lion Brand Yarn Studio’s design aesthetic artfully contrasts with the neighborhood’s industrial past. To create the first retail venture of Lion Brand’s 130-year-old history as a wholesaler, architect David Gauld has threaded the 1,700-square-foot studio together with a painted blue wall, shaped like a sine curve, that divides the space into four zones for different activities: yarn browsing, sampling, purchasing, and researching. The opposite wall features a series of giant display cases for Lion Brand’s 49 yarn lines, with 600 colors in an array of wools, wool blends, cottons, and recycled and organic materials. Made of a translucent polycarbonate typically used for skylights or railings, the cases’ panels are partially cut and fastened together to create diagonal spaces for product display, and are lit from behind and above to highlight the subtle differences in the yarns’ color and texture. From a sampling wall, customers can unwind a few yards of featured yarns and experiment, while a “learning bar” offers space for knitting and crocheting demonstrations. Recycled and renewable materials are used throughout, including bamboo flooring, recycled glass countertops and floor tiles, and cabinet panels made from reclaimed sorghum plant stalks.