Posts tagged with "Retail":

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SOFTlab creates a flowery vortex for a New York City couture shoe shop

Forget about the Sharknado, New York–based designers at SOFTlab have created a vortex of flowers that has taken over one Manhattan shoe store, bringing SOFTlab's signature parametric forms to the modern shoe brand, Melissa. The Soho store already grabbed design headlines when it opened its flagship location decked out in a custom-fabricated Corian interior by architecture firm Eight and Associated Fabrication. This latest design intervention is part of Melissa's "We Are Flowers" campaign that used organic shapes and colors to inform its shoe line. SOFTlab was the chief designer behind “We Are Flowers” and, as the title suggests, created a looming art installation of synthetic flowers right inside the Melissa flagship. Using bright colors and familiar natural forms, the installation creates an aesthetic meant to appeal to both shoppers and pedestrians just passing by. And with 20,000 distinct flowers, it's difficult to miss. The installation, as it happens, is an encompassing, immersive one that hangs over the top of the store in its entirety. This is achieved by suspending the flowery panel from a hand-bent metal frame. The underlying digitally-designed mylar structure that supports the flowers is comprised of fastened, laser-cut pieces that give the final product its curving shape. The flowers are also laser cut and individually hand-fastened to the delicate netting. The process is detailed in the installation video above. The final product is a gleaming interior garden at Melissa that winds its way through the entire store. The We Are Flowers installation is currently on view at Melissa's Manhattan flagship at 102 Greene Street.
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James Beard Deadline Approaching

2012 James Beard Design Winner Le Bernardin (Le Bernardin) If you've designed a beautiful restaurant in the last few years, the James Beard Foundation Restaurant Design Awards want you. But you better hurry: the deadline for their annual awards, known as the "Oscars of the food world," is January 20. Among the previous winners is New York's Le Bernardin by Bentel & Bentel Architects & Planners in 2012 (pictured). This year's notable jury includes Kristina O'Neal of New York firm AvroKO, interior design legend Adam Tihany, and Marion Weiss of WEISS/MANFREDI. Visit here to submit. Winners will be announced at a Lincoln Center Gala on May 5. (Photo: Courtesy Le Bernardin).
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UNStudio’s Ballsy Move: Hanjie Wanda Square Mall Completed in Wuhan, China

Construction has recently been completed on UNStudio's Hanjie Wanda Square, a new luxury shopping center in Wuhan, China.  The firm boldly coated the exterior of the building in over 42,333 metallic spheres, bestowing a fluidity to the facade that extends into the interior of the structure.  There, curved walkways and corridors flow together in order to carry shoppers throughout the upscale retail stores, catering outlets, and movie theaters within the center. North and South atria anchor the inside of the building, the former bedecked in gold and bronze tones, while silver and reflective materials pervade the latter.  These elements are purported to speak to a "cultural traditional identity" and "city identity and urban rhythm" respectively.  Each opening is capped by a large skylight. Each steel ball-bearing houses an LED light that projects multiple colors onto a laminated glass surface that cloaks the building.  The facade thus acts as a canvas for the numerous effects generated by the combination of colored light and pattern.  Such dynamism echoes the the approach adopted by UNStudio in other projects the firm has undertaken in KoreaTaiwan, and Bejing. Wanda Square will soon be joined by other UNStudio projects cropping up throughout China.  While the firm initially established a Shanghai location in order to aid in the development of its Raffles City Development in Hangzhou, the once temporary branch has been transformed into a fully operational extension of the Amsterdam-based office.  The completion of the mall comes in the wake of recent competition wins for the pavilion for the 2014 Horticultural World Expo in Qingdao and a large-scale multi-use development in Bejing within the coming years.
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Tokyo Store Changes with Fashion Trends

Placed within Tokyo’s Daikanayama district, architect Arthur Casas has designed a flagship store to appear completely as an opaque box. As fashion trends change, so does the store’s appearance. The exterior walls boast a bold graphic design that will surely be swapped out for the next season’s trends. Created to display Brazilian designer Alexandre Herchcovitch’s clothing designs, the box nods to the idea of pedestrian curiosity and does not reveal its entire contents even when opened. The multi-level box has been described as “a wrapped up present just waiting to be opened.” Completed in 2007, the approximately 1,076 square-foot store’s facade embraces flashy prints and daring designs, but features surprisingly neutral interior materials in order to emphasize the details found in Herchcovitch's designs. The store contains an exhibition space in addition to storage space at the mezzanine level and a basement.  
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A Sartorial ‘Shop in Shop’ for Neil Barrett

Fabrikator

Zaha Hadid Architects designed 16 bespoke polyurethane display units for fashion designer Neil Barrett's shops.

Fashion designer Neil Barrett hired Zaha Hadid Architects to design a cohesive display concept for a new flagship store in Tokyo that could be easily rolled out to his other locations as well, which include four shops in Seoul and one in Hong Kong. The result had to be as sartorial as Barrett’s fashions, so Hadid’s team came up with the idea of cutting the displays for all of the stores from a single block of material. The concept resulted in 16 bespoke display elements, which all fit together like pieces of a puzzle. "We wanted to design a project that always belongs together but offers a choice between different sizes," said project architect Claudia Wulf. "The reason we designed a modular landscape is that we have extremely different area requirements [across all of the shops]." The units, which are carved from a solid unit, range in size from 13 1/2 feet by 13 3/4 feet to 4 feet by 6 feet. Paired, the units create a sinuous artificial landscape that unfolds across multiple display levels. The pieces can be grouped to suit the scale and space of each boutique, and display shoes, bags, or accessories just as easily.
  • Fabricators Evergrow
  • Designers Zaha Hadid Architects
  • Location Tokyo, Seoul, Hong Kong
  • Date of Completion 2008
  • Material Corian, polyurethane, glass fiber resin, lacquer
  • Process CNC mill, Rhino
Hadid’s team worked with Rhino to develop the idea of creating tangents through straight lines and curves, as well as soft lines and strong edges. What begins as a sharp point curves softly into the next display shelf. The team bounced the evolving design between the client and Chinese fabricator Evergrow, refining the profiles of each unit. For the flagship store in Japan, the designers chose to craft the first set from Corian in order to develop a strong dialogue between the existing envelope of the building and the display’s smooth yet curvaceous surface. A uniform, white palette enhances the formality of the display, while creating a strong contrast against a polished black floor. For subsequent locations, Hadid’s team updated the display material to polyurethane, as there was less time afforded for transportation and installation. The 3D file was sent to Evergrow, which CNC-milled the pieces from solid polyurethane. The fabricator applied a very thin coat of glass fiber resin to reinforce the surface and sanded it until smooth. A high-quality lacquer, comparable to what would be used for an automotive finish, was applied to protect against daily wear and scratching. "We definitely challenged the material use [with this project] because the edges are very slim," said Wulf, adding that during a recent project follow up, she was surprised by the number of people inquiring how such sharp edges were achieved on such a smooth form. "As often as we have the opportunity, we push the boundaries of materials a little farther so that you are surprised." Zaha Hadid Architects is currently developing Neil Barrett Shop in Shop projects in Beijing, Shanghai, and Seoul. As many as eight shops could be completed by the end of 2013.
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A Corian Carnival in SoHo

Fabrikator

Brooklyn-based Associated Fabrication realized all the merchandise displays, benching, shelving, and cash wraps for Melissa Shoes in Pearl Gray Corian.

Before Kinky Boots came to Broadway, Melissa Shoes opened shop in SoHo. The Brazilian shoe brand, known for its use of brightly colored, recycled PVC material and collaborations with designers like Jason Wu, Vivienne Westwood, and Gareth Pugh, opened its first U.S. boutique in the states last year. With the help of local architecture firm Eight Inc. and Brooklyn-based Associated Fabrication, a distinguished aesthetic was achieved that supports the original Sao Paulo shop's rotating art theme, but with a much cleaner slate of epoxy floors and Pearl Gray Corian bollard-like merchandise displays. Working from two-dimensional drawings provided by the architects, Jeffrey Taras of Associated Fabrication used Rhino to model the 34 display platforms. Taras grouped the displays, which resemble blunted stalagmites, into categories of varying heights and configurations—single columns in four different heights, double columns in two groupings, and one cluster of three columns.
  • Fabricators Associated Fabrication
  • Architects Eight Inc.
  • Location New York
  • Date of Completion 2012
  • Material Corian, plywood, MDF
  • Process Rhino, CNC mill
"A lot of this [project] was production engineering and breaking down the pieces into as few parts as possible to ease assembly," explained Taras. "We also had to figure out how to break the pieces down to form the Corian the way it had to be done." Each stand is hollow and constructed from five different parts of thermal-formed Corian. The base radius is made from two pieces, the shell extrusion is also two pieces, and a single portion at the top completes the unit. Since a seamless connection between the pieces was necessary to achieve the aesthetic, there was almost not tolerance for error in the fabrication process. After each stand was modeled in Rhino, the fabricators used a CNC milling machine to cut molds from plywood and medium density fiberboard. Taras created a single mold for the base ring components of all 34 stands and another uniform mold was created for the shell extrusions. Varying heights were achieved by trimming the extrusions. The caps, vary by diameter; the taller ones are smaller because of a more tapered extrusion, and the shorter ones are wider. Thus Taras created different molds for the top pieces of the varying heights. As each of the components was assembled, it was run through a trim jig to exactly meet the other seams. "The most challenging units were the double units, and the combination of three stands spliced together," Taras said. "We created a full piece assembly, created a custom jig for the CNC mill, and then cut out matching surfaces for each of the pieces that formed the units." The jig was also designed in Rhino, and cut on the CNC mill. The completed units were finely sanded and were placed as freestanding displays in the boutique. Associated Fabrication was also responsible for 18 small and six large shelves—affixed to the walls with a stainless steel pin and silicone—six mirror bases, 11 benches, and two cash wraps, all made from Corian. A new table is also currently being made for the space.
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Moleskine Opens First US Store In New York City

Moleskine's new store in the Time Warner Center. (Courtesy Moleskine) Look under the arm of just about any architect and you might notice a small black notebook. The popular Italian journal maker Moleskine has just opened its first stand-alone retail store in the United States on Friday inside New York's Time Warner Center. Like other Moleskine stores, the Columbus Circle outpost features a map on the floor and carries a full line of products including journals, pens, bags, and digital accessories. (Photo: Courtesy Moleskine)
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San Francisco’s Shipping Container Village Grows Up, Adds High-Style Retailer

There's a new couture addition to PROXY, the temporary shipping container village in San Francisco's Hayes Valley, designed by architects Envelope A+D.  Adding to PROXY's cool coffee shop, ice cream parlor, and Biergarten is a new store for clothing company Aether, made up of three forty foot shipping containers stacked atop one another, supported by steel columns.  The guts of the first two containers have been carved out, making a double story retail space, with a glass mezzanine above jutting to the side, providing display space and views. A third container for inventory storage is accessible via a custom-designed drycleaners' conveyor belt spanning all three floors. Workers can literally load garments from the ground floor and send them up to the top. PROXY, which has been a huge success, is planning more. The next installation: PROXY_storefront, a series of 9 storefront spaces carved into six shipping containers, to be located around the corner from Aether. Indeed shipping containers are moving beyond residential, taking off in the retail realm. You can visit the new Aether store in person Tuesday through Saturday from 11:00am to 7:00pm or Sunday from 11:00 to 6:00.
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Marlon Blackwell Weaves Plywood At The Crystal Bridges Museum

Fabrikator

Marlon Blackwell uses ribbed ceiling to evoke craft while mitigating contemporary challenges at Arkansas museum.

The setting for the gift shop at the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art seems idyllic—a vast glass wall opens onto a entry courtyard that gives way to a placid pond reflecting the Ozarks landscape. But to create a design for the 3,100 square-foot space in Bentonville, Arkansas, architect Marlon Blackwell had to overcome multiple hurdles. The first: a thicket of concrete columns supporting the green roof of the Moshe Safdie-designed building. Next: the west-facing glass wall, which made heat gain an issue. And finally: the very small budget (the total project cost was $644,000).
  • Fabricator UDI
  • Architect Marlon Blackwell Architect
  • Location Bentonville, Arkansas
  • Date of Completion  Late 2011
  • Material   Cherry plywood
  • Process  AlphaCAM CAD/CAM 3-D modeling, CNC routing
Blackwell’s solution to all three problems was a concept inspired in part by local Arkansas basket weaver Leon Niehues, whose work is now sold in the museum shop. Niehues’ pieces are distinguished by their vertical “ribs.” The wrapper of rib-like forms devised by Blackwell begins at the top of the exterior glass wall, where it acts as a sunscreen, and extends across the ceiling and down the long eastern interior wall where shelving is integrated into the system. Made of locally sourced cherry plywood, the final effect is less wicker-work and more chanterelle—Blackwell’s ribs, which span roughly 30 feet, evoke the gills on the underside of a mushroom cap. But the arc-shaped plan of the building complicated matters. “It was a curved volume, so we couldn’t reference a radius,” said Blackwell. “We used straight lines, which looks great but demanded that each rib had to be slightly different.” Each of the 223 undulating ribs is composed of up to four segments of joined planks 8 inches wide and 3/4-inches thick. Using 3-D modeling and AlphaCAM CAD/CAM software, Blackwell’s team translated the design to CNC routers in the millwork shop of Adam Weaver at UDI Inc, in Rogers, Arkansas. Weaver deployed two routers at once to stay on deadline—an Onsrud CNC and a Northwood CNC—and an optimizer insured that there was as little wasted material as possible. From 480 sheets of plywood emerged the 700 cut pieces for the ribs, each inscribed with a number and with the screw holes and the overlapping joins pre-cut. Once the material was delivered to the site, the contractors used a plum line and a laser to align then suspend components from the ceiling. The ribs gradually took shape one piece at a time. “It was like stacking stone,” said Blackwell, noting that everything snapped into place in under six weeks during construction in 2011. The rib system filters out up to 40 percent of the daylight and not only finesses the existing concrete columns but also conceals sprinklers and the store’s lighting system. Blackwell use of cherry planks for the floor creates a unified and warm space that complements the wares on display for only $200 per square foot.
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The Colorful Camouflage of a Secret Tea Shop

Bright colors are not typically associated with inconspicuous spaces but when it comes to The Gourmet Tea storefront, the shop manages to bring the two together.Through the use of clever ingenuity and compact design Brazilian architect Alan Chu successfully plants a secret tea shop inside a public shopping center in São Paulo, Brazil. While closed, The Gourmet Tea appears to be a multi-colored block mural, but in a matter of moments a swift transformation takes place as a purple hatch reveals a sliding counter, shelves wheel out from one end, and cupboards from another. At the very top of the unfolding display is The Gourmet Tea sign, neatly covered by its own small colored door. Chu credits the colorful display to the tea company’s vibrant packaging for its vast selection of organic tea blends. His intention was to tie in the vivid colors of the packaging with the store's design to create a joyous space that accurately reflects the brand. [Via PopUpCity.]
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Rem’s Next New York Commission is in the Bag

High-design fashion label Coach has been pursuing big-name architects, recently announcing its corporate headquarters will be the anchor tenant for a new Kohn Pederson Fox tower at Hudson Yards with James Corner Field Operations and Diller Scofidio + Renfro's High Line running underneath. Next up, Rem Koolhaas' OMA will design the brand's new flagship shop-in-shop at Macy's in Herald Square. WWD reported today that Koolhaas will bring a clean, modern aesthetic to glass and acrylic modular display units slated for 1,930 square feet of the Macy's ground floor and expected to open in September. OMA partner Shohei Shigematsu told WWD the modules were flexible in how they could be used, "In typical instances they are used as display; in others they come together as an interior fixture. In others still, they enclose spaces for programs or curation, and by sealing that enclosure, it can even become the facade." OMA will also be designing the Coach Omotesando flagship in Tokyo. The firm has also designed high-end retail space for Prada in New York and Beverly Hills.
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Retail Reality at WTC

Westfield will partner with the Port to lease the podium of Tower Three. (Coutesy Silverstien) The Westfield Group made it official yesterday: They will be curating the 450,000 square feet of retail space at the World Trade Center, the New York Post reported. The group made a $93 million payment to the Port Authority toward the $612.5 million deal that will bring retail to the podia of Towers Four and Three, the transportation hub, and along Church & Dey streets. If all goes as planned, an additional 90,000 square feet will be added in Tower Two as well, but first an anchor tenant for Tower Three seems to be the most pressing bit of unmet business.