Even Union Square, San Francisco’s high-end shopping mecca, sports the occasional empty storefront these days. To beautify a few for the holidays, the Union Square Association brought in four architecture firms to work their magic, a pro bono effort that also “highlight(s) the vibrant creativity of local architecture firms in a whole new way,” says the press release. A delightful idea–but in execution, somewhat of a mixed bag, as you will see.
Truest to the spirit of the assignment, Charles Bloszies” window at 400 Post St. (above) features the work of local FIDM students, who made couture out of shopping bags à la Project Runway. A wooden plaque lists the posh stores that are still alive and kicking (or perhaps they donated bags?).
On the other side of the square, at 393 Sutter St., fashion was also on the mind of FME Architecture + Design, which filled its storefront with a video of a runway show. Not sure whose, though. ( “Fashion” is the Twitter handle for ShoppingBlog.com, but maybe I didn’t understand the instructions correctly?)
One street south, Brand + Allen took over a space once occupied by Frette at 124 Geary, and spelled out the word “Pause” using a screen of cardboard tubes. There is a Chinese symbol behind the screen, to symbolize how Union Square is the gateway to Chinatown. Perhaps the subtext is: If the prices around here are too scary, take a deep breath and think of the affordable tchkotches just up the street.
The furthest away from Union Square was Gensler‘s window at 101 Post St., which celebrates San Francisco’s sister city of Shanghai–and Gensler’s design of the Shanghai Tower.
Nice building and all, but let’s encourage people do to a little shopping, shall we?