Designed by Norman Kelley, the remodel of Notre’s flagship storefront in Chicago’s West Loop neighborhood is a spatial and conceptual expansion of Notre’s offerings. With its larger and more flexible interior, the store will house a refined selection of contemporary designer fashion and streetwear, as well as ongoing cultural programming. Upon entering the store through the 13-foot-tall door with attached transom window, you are tasked with entering a second time; the store proper is pushed away from the street, and a multipurpose stair ramp provides an accessible entry made of 4,645 Chicago common brick pavers in four gentle slopes mediated by low-rise steps. Notre accommodates the building’s layered history as a warehouse-turned-gallery by sandwiching 1-foot-wide timber columns between white, thickened walls and drop-ceiling masks, creating a series of rooms to accommodate both products (clothing, footwear, publications, apothecary) and events (readings, lectures). Like the stepped vestibule that functions as a micro-auditorium, or the curated selection of books and magazines, Notre reveals a way to combine social pragmatism with aesthetic appeal and creates a new sense of retail intimacy.
118 N Peoria Street #1N, Chicago
Architect: Norman Kelley