This morning Apple held a press preview of their new Grand Central store, which is set to open this Friday. The first impression of this glassless emporium, an anomaly for the company, is the respectful handling of the hallowed space. The store fills the space vacated by Metrazur restaurant, which wrapped around the Lexington Avenue side balcony. Apple's showroom takes up half of the northern balcony as well. For Mac fans, the cleaned lined furnishings will be familiar, as are the various stations spread throughout the 23,000-square-foot space. The Genius Bar is still there, as are the iPad and iPod stations, laptops, accessories, and a professional yet casual staff of more than 300. Apple, aided by Bohlin Cywinski Jackson, took sight lines into consideration, as the only real hint that the store is there from the concourse are small strips of table lighting, and, of course, the company's ubiquitous apple which hangs from a grand arch centered on the balcony. It could be argued that logo competes a bit with the world famous clock at the center of the terminal. But otherwise, the interventions appear considerate and reversible.
Posts tagged with "Retail":
Living letters. Typeface designer Ruslan Khasanov created a liquid typeface by inking letters onto a porcelain sink and photographing their movement as they slid down the drain. The white on black animated GIFs reveal letters that strangely resemble those amoebas we studied under the microscope back in high school bio. More at Co.Design. Great cities for 20 somethings. Recently graduated? Looking for a creative, liberal-minded, inexpensive city with low unemployment? GOOD magazine has published a tally of top cities for young adults. Austin, Philadelphia, Detroit, and Washington D.C. garnered top spots. Weaving futures. The future of weaving: Austrian designer collaboration "mischer’traxler" has fused art and technology in their latest invention, a machine that weaves depending on how many people are watching. Sensors located on the basket weaving frame detect how many people are standing nearby, adding different colors per person. Co.Design called it “passive interaction.” Show me the shoes. For shoe company Shoesme, Dutch designer Teon Fleskens has designed a flexible, interchangeable shoe display system, according to Contemporist. The main element, large white dice, can be stacked and rearranged to various table and counter-level heights and can also be used for seating.
Brian Ulrich: Copia—Retail, Thrift, and Dark Stores, 2001–11 Cleveland Museum of Art 11150 East Boulevard Through January 16, 2012 Using only a hand-held camera, photographer Brian Ulrich captured the fluctuating economic climate’s impact on American consumerism in the last decade. Brian Ulrich: Copia – Retail, Thrift and Dark Stores, 2001–11 at the Cleveland Museum of Art features 50 color photographs, portraying anonymous commercial excess in three distinct venues. Whether engrossed by the saccharine colors and limitless temptation of big box stores or by the discarded whimsies of thrift shops, the photographed subjects are caught in a vicious cycle of spending. The final phase highlights the absent consumer, focusing on the prevalence of ghost stores and dark shopping malls as a result of the 2008 financial crisis, such as J.C. Penney, Dixie Square Mall (above).
New York firm Stephan Jaklitsch Architects (SJA) has completed the latest jewel box on Tokyo's premiere shopping street, the Omotesando-dori in the Aoyama shopping district. The richly textured Marc Jacobs flagship store is comprised of three masses each of glass, stone, and perforated metal, the latter two appearing to float above the sidewalk. Defining the 2,800 square foot, three-story store is its tripartite massing depicting void, rock, and lantern. Of the three, the lantern top level is visually most dynamic, especially when backlit at night, while the middle rock level, clad in rough terra-cotta pieces, offers maximum texture. SJA wanted to minimize visual interruption on the sidewalk level to blur interior and exterior spaces. While the building contains three floors, the striated levels can be deceiving as one level is actually underground. Because of zoning limiting building height to two floors above grade, the metal paneled lantern level serves as a visual element, or kosakubutsu, giving the building extra mass and its defining element to differentiate the building from its rather distinguished neighbors including Herzog & de Meuron's Prada store across the street. The project was recently awarded an Award of Excellence from the New York chapter of the American Institute of Architects.
The fabulous Peter Marino has designed a fabulous new store for Chanel in Soho, which opened Friday for Fashion Night Out. It’s so fabulous that Chanel Global Creative Director Peter Phillips created a new makeup line paying homage to Marino’s sleek lines and the sleeker girls who hobble about the cobblestone streets surrounding the store. As for the renovation itself, it was inspired by the artsy spirit of the neighborhood and features an acrylic Chanel No. 5 bottle that stands over 10 feet high and will display video art as well as video of runway shows from Paris. The newly outfitted boutique has a gallery feel to it, complete with commissioned artworks by Peter Belyi, Alan Rath, and Robert Greene. More makeup and makeover after the jump.
Philadelphi's Reading Terminal Market is one of the nation's oldest continuously operated enclosed food markets, opening in 1892 in the ground floor of the F. H. Kimbal-designed terminal. Like those in New York, Boston, and elsewhere, the enclosed market was seen as a way to get hawkers, hucksters, and dry goods carts off the street, where they were deemed unsightly and unhygienic. The Reading Terminal Market thrived for decades before declining during the era of White Flight, though it was revived in the 80s as an upscale venue for prepared foods and artisanal and organic products. With the current craze for the latter, as well as the return of residents to the city, the market is as popular as ever, necessitating an expansion designed by local firm Friday Architects/Planners. The plan, announced—yes—Friday, involves the reorganization of the aisles to make room for more stores as well as additional retail space on what is currently an office mezzanine. Work is expected to begin early next year and be completed withing six to eight months. You can peep the plans after the jump.
So it turns out they've finally approved designs for the Apple Store in Georgetown. As we speculated, Bohlin Cywinski Jackson came up with a perfectly appropriate glassy-historicist design, as they already have in places like Soho and Boston. The thing is, after a year-and-a-half of deliberating over designs for the project, and rejecting four previous proposals, what the Old Georgetown Board approved looks suspiciously like what was presented 18 months ago. It's basically the same as the previous proposal from February, except that columns were added to the entryway to make it not quite so glassy. And we thought New York was bad. (h/t ArchNewsNow)
The socially-reponsible design squad at Artecnica opened their first showroom in Los Angeles last night and designers, architects and artists thronged the simple white storefront in appreciation. Well, and for a glimpse of flower-power designer Tord Boontje during his second-ever visit to LA (even though he's been working with Artecnica for ages). Gracious hostess Tahmineh Javanbakht greeted guests near the bar, her neck layered with chains, charms, beads and bangles to glamorous effect, while Rose Apodaca presided over a pop-up version of boutique A+R in the back. Freya Bardell told us about luring high-heeled ladies down to the LA River during the Frogtown Art Walk. Modernica's Frank Novak loved the wares but couldn't take the stratospheric decibel-level of the DJ much longer. We speared cheese and strawberries with Metropolis' Jade Chang while reminiscing about the caviar parfaits we'd put away at the media dinner for Philippe Starck-designed XIV the previous night (the food had far outshined the decor). An adorable Boontje was thrilled to see his Midsummer Light Tyvek cut-outs deconstructed, colored and decoupaged by local elementary school kids, thanks to non-profit LA's Best—and we have to say, some of them were really good! While Boontje talked about his ongoing collaborations with founder Enrico Bressan—including his new Witches Kitchen, scarily appropriate for its pre-Halloween release date—we couldn't help but be distracted by the PDA pair of Adam Eeuwens and Rebeca Méndez, nuzzling near Boontje's Come Rain Come Shine light. We suppose an evening of "design with conscience" could be a turn-on for some...