650 gross SF
570 net SF
Located on a Broadway storefront in a historic landmarked building, the NYC Blinds Showroom is our attempt to redefine and construct a view of what a retail space should feel like, for a contemporary window treatment business.
Typically, the blinds, blackouts and roller shade shopping experience is relegated to a messy, forgotten basement corner of a chain department store where the physical product, not the context, is most important. Despite changing economic tendencies in retail sales that are driven by the advent of internet shopping, window treatment customers still need to see and feel the product in a physical context that can effectively demonstrate its function. Until now, this physical context beyond the product is often disregarded completely and at best, treated as an afterthought.
Therefore, our challenge was to elevate the physical experience of shopping by prioritizing the sensorial qualities of the space. All physical experiences and transactions are planed and designed to be operated smoothly and seamlessly. The goal was to redefine the entire experience of being a customer in the space.
The space is conceptualized to evoke a high-end an art gallery. However, we were aware that it would be very kitsch to have window treatments displayed on the wall in lieu of art. Therefore, we left the walls crisp and clean and instead developed a system of free floating internalized displays to showcase the product. The displays reinforce and enhance the verticality of the space, distracting users from the shops’ tiny 650 SF footprint. They are positioned so that they are perpendicular to the storefront and not directly visible from the street, but instead they draw attention to the unique character and perspective of the space, virtually forcing the passerby to stop and stare into the cathedral-like shop. Once inside, customers can view large selections of product by freely wandering around each display. Each vertical unit holds eight full size window samples, backlit with integral dim-able LED lighting, emulating the temperature of soft natural sun light.
The use of monochrome throughout the space is meant to allow the rotating merchandise, not the architecture, determine the color pallet of the experience.
The tiny space, a former nail salon, was completely gutted to expose the original structure, covered by a century of renovations, one on top of another. By coordinating design with BIM technology, new HVAC systems, new plumbing, electrical, sound, video and lighting were all suspended and woven through a ceiling suspended system of CNC rib structures that provided arched support for the stretch ceiling fabric finish. In between the ribs of support for the stretch fabric, black painted troths were designed to allow for concealed HVAC airflow and linear display lighting. These troths become continuous vertical datum lines in the space, a design feature that allows for plan adjustments around the quirky footprint while also allowing for programatic changes and the spawning of a digitally printed floor pattern that evokes the linear forms found in venetian blinds.
To further enhance the user experience, furniture, wall covering patterns and the shop’s branding were all provided by Kurv partner, Karim Rashid.