Contract - Bloomie’s New Edition: Bloomingdale’s Santa Monica, Designed by Mancini Duffy

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Bloomie’s New Edition: Bloomingdale’s Santa Monica, Designed by Mancini Duffy

12 September, 2011

-By Jean Nayar


Over the past decade, the legendary retailer Bloomingdale’s, which began in 1872 in New York, has expanded its reach, opening a series of additional stores across the United States. And its newest store, Bloomingdale’s Santa Monica (click the "more photos" link, left, to view additional images), represents the latest wave in its evolution.

Designed by New York–based Mancini Duffy and completed last summer, the new emporium is a concept store—not a typical Bloomingdale’s—modeled after one that the firm also designed for the retailer in New York’s Soho back in 2004. Less than half the size of what had been a typical Bloomingdale’s department store and offering a tightly edited selection of merchandise, Bloomingdale’s Santa Monica “caters to a sophisticated yet casual contemporary customer with attitude,” says Ed Calabrese, Mancini Duffy’s lead designer on the project. “It’s a store that’s not necessarily for a young person, but someone who thinks young.”

While Bloomingdale’s already had a strong presence in Southern California, with large-scale stores at the Beverly Center, Century City, and South Coast Plaza, the retailer found the location in Santa Monica Place mall to be ideal for the new smaller-format store for several reasons. Not only is the mall located near the Third Street Promenade, which has recently undergone a successful renaissance, but it was also being completely rebuilt and redeveloped with a series of higher-end stores, including Tiffany & Co., Marc Jacobs, Nordstrom, Louis Vuitton, and other local heavyweights, which attract the kind of style-conscious clientele that the small-scale Bloomingdale’s store caters to. It’s also just a mere two blocks from the beach, adding to its appeal as a destination locale. 

Adapted for context

Working closely with Jack Hruska, Bloomingdale’s senior vice president of creative services, the design team set the tone with signature Bloomingdale’s elements, but adapted the 101,000-square-foot store to suit its context. According to Calabrese, Hruska’s inspiration drove the design of the store. “He wanted to do a Bloomingdale’s with a beachy vibe,” says the designer, “but not the hokey beach quality you usually think of.”
To create a store that would feel like a Bloomingdale’s and yet depart from its traditional design approach, the designers started with the retailer’s classic black and white checkerboard floor. Here—instead of the usual stone—it’s made of stenciled concrete for a more casual effect that suits the setting. They also left ceilings exposed and organized the merchandise in clear zones with easy-to-understand circulation paths that are typical in Bloomingdale’s stores.

In another gesture characteristic to Bloomingdale’s, the designers used lightweight structures and fixtures to create varying design statements that define different merchandise segments and make the interiors feel more like a specialty store. In this venue, these elements often take the form of cabana-like pavilions or suspended trellis-like canopies that evoke the Southern California lifestyle. They’re also made of materials like weathered or whitewashed woods, chalkboard, and glass that further reference the beach.

Element of surprise

Another common thread is the element of surprise, which Hruska makes a point of including in every store. Here, it appears on the second floor, where a dry cleaning conveyor belt topped with mannequins whisks along an aisle on one side of the space. The b-Style Bar, which houses a stylist service that assembles items from all over the store to better serve the needs of a younger shopper, is unique for this location and the clientele. “Rather than creating a space with private rooms and a formal reception area, we wanted to appeal to a younger customer, who often shops with a group of friends,” says Calabrese. So instead of structured dressing rooms, the designers crafted massive retractable pods that look like Japanese lanterns when someone is changing inside, but whoosh up and fold away when the outfitted customer is dressed and ready to be revealed.

Set amid a bright environment with windows on three sides of the building that let in abundant natural light, fixtures and furnishings inspired by everything from mid-century office furniture to casework in a fine 18th century French salon reinforce an air of theatricality and vitality that Bloomingdale’s is known for. But its boutique-y ambience, fresh mix of raw and refined materials, custom pavilions, and commissioned artworks push the retailer’s brand in a new direction and—at the same time—connect it closely to a community.  (Click the "more photos" link, above left, to view additional images.)

SOURCE LIST

WHO
Building architect: Hixson Architects, Inc. (LT Thorn, senior project manager); Kevin Kennon Architects (exterior design). Interior designer: Mancini Duffy. Interior design project team: Edward Calabrese, RDI, creative director; Lisa Contreras, director of creative resources; Marian Crawford, IIDA, FRDI, project director; Courtney Kemper, resource designer; Stan Kao, senior designer; George Winsper, job captain, first floor; Alex Mai, job captain, second floor. Bloomingdale’s in-house design team: Jack Hruska, executive vice president, creative services; Michael Ferrera, vice president asset management, store design and store planning; Krisak Apibunyopas, senior project director. Bloomingdale’s/Macy’s construction team: Bruce Quisno, vice president of construction; Mike Hill, senior project manager; Neil Gauen, construction administrator; Kevin Konz, fixture coordinator; Vesta Burnett, purchasing project coordinator. Lighting consultant: Doug Russell, Lighting Workshop. Structural engineering: Sailful Bouquet. MEP engineering: Hixson Architects, Inc. (LT Thorn, senior project manager).

WHERE
Santa Monica, California. 101,000 total square feet on two floors. Cost/sf: Withheld at client’s request. 

WHAT
Furniture and upholstery: Barrett Hill. Wallcoverings: Carnegie; Maharam; Elitis (through Donghia); Wolf-Gordon; MDC Wallcovering; Innovations in Wallcoverings. Paint: Benjamin Moore. Laminate: Wilsonart; Laminart. Flooring: Architectural Systems, Inc.; Chilewich. Carpet/carpet tile: Atlas Carpet; Loom Concepts. Lighting: Juno; Phoster; Litemakers. Glass: Verre églomisé; Lisa Stimpson; Carvart (fragrance showcase etched bronze mirrors). Additional upholstery: Majalite. Showcases: Faubion Associates, Inc. Loose fixtures: Bruewer Woodwork Mfg. Co. Plumbing fixtures: Toto; Electronic Faucets. Retractable fitting room pods: Moon Design Manufacturing. Metal racks: Mega Vision, Inc. Specialty metal racks: JP Metal.




Bloomie’s New Edition: Bloomingdale’s Santa Monica, Designed by Mancini Duffy

12 September, 2011


Grey Crawford

Over the past decade, the legendary retailer Bloomingdale’s, which began in 1872 in New York, has expanded its reach, opening a series of additional stores across the United States. And its newest store, Bloomingdale’s Santa Monica (click the "more photos" link, left, to view additional images), represents the latest wave in its evolution.

Designed by New York–based Mancini Duffy and completed last summer, the new emporium is a concept store—not a typical Bloomingdale’s—modeled after one that the firm also designed for the retailer in New York’s Soho back in 2004. Less than half the size of what had been a typical Bloomingdale’s department store and offering a tightly edited selection of merchandise, Bloomingdale’s Santa Monica “caters to a sophisticated yet casual contemporary customer with attitude,” says Ed Calabrese, Mancini Duffy’s lead designer on the project. “It’s a store that’s not necessarily for a young person, but someone who thinks young.”

While Bloomingdale’s already had a strong presence in Southern California, with large-scale stores at the Beverly Center, Century City, and South Coast Plaza, the retailer found the location in Santa Monica Place mall to be ideal for the new smaller-format store for several reasons. Not only is the mall located near the Third Street Promenade, which has recently undergone a successful renaissance, but it was also being completely rebuilt and redeveloped with a series of higher-end stores, including Tiffany & Co., Marc Jacobs, Nordstrom, Louis Vuitton, and other local heavyweights, which attract the kind of style-conscious clientele that the small-scale Bloomingdale’s store caters to. It’s also just a mere two blocks from the beach, adding to its appeal as a destination locale. 

Adapted for context

Working closely with Jack Hruska, Bloomingdale’s senior vice president of creative services, the design team set the tone with signature Bloomingdale’s elements, but adapted the 101,000-square-foot store to suit its context. According to Calabrese, Hruska’s inspiration drove the design of the store. “He wanted to do a Bloomingdale’s with a beachy vibe,” says the designer, “but not the hokey beach quality you usually think of.”
To create a store that would feel like a Bloomingdale’s and yet depart from its traditional design approach, the designers started with the retailer’s classic black and white checkerboard floor. Here—instead of the usual stone—it’s made of stenciled concrete for a more casual effect that suits the setting. They also left ceilings exposed and organized the merchandise in clear zones with easy-to-understand circulation paths that are typical in Bloomingdale’s stores.

In another gesture characteristic to Bloomingdale’s, the designers used lightweight structures and fixtures to create varying design statements that define different merchandise segments and make the interiors feel more like a specialty store. In this venue, these elements often take the form of cabana-like pavilions or suspended trellis-like canopies that evoke the Southern California lifestyle. They’re also made of materials like weathered or whitewashed woods, chalkboard, and glass that further reference the beach.

Element of surprise

Another common thread is the element of surprise, which Hruska makes a point of including in every store. Here, it appears on the second floor, where a dry cleaning conveyor belt topped with mannequins whisks along an aisle on one side of the space. The b-Style Bar, which houses a stylist service that assembles items from all over the store to better serve the needs of a younger shopper, is unique for this location and the clientele. “Rather than creating a space with private rooms and a formal reception area, we wanted to appeal to a younger customer, who often shops with a group of friends,” says Calabrese. So instead of structured dressing rooms, the designers crafted massive retractable pods that look like Japanese lanterns when someone is changing inside, but whoosh up and fold away when the outfitted customer is dressed and ready to be revealed.

Set amid a bright environment with windows on three sides of the building that let in abundant natural light, fixtures and furnishings inspired by everything from mid-century office furniture to casework in a fine 18th century French salon reinforce an air of theatricality and vitality that Bloomingdale’s is known for. But its boutique-y ambience, fresh mix of raw and refined materials, custom pavilions, and commissioned artworks push the retailer’s brand in a new direction and—at the same time—connect it closely to a community.  (Click the "more photos" link, above left, to view additional images.)

SOURCE LIST

WHO
Building architect: Hixson Architects, Inc. (LT Thorn, senior project manager); Kevin Kennon Architects (exterior design). Interior designer: Mancini Duffy. Interior design project team: Edward Calabrese, RDI, creative director; Lisa Contreras, director of creative resources; Marian Crawford, IIDA, FRDI, project director; Courtney Kemper, resource designer; Stan Kao, senior designer; George Winsper, job captain, first floor; Alex Mai, job captain, second floor. Bloomingdale’s in-house design team: Jack Hruska, executive vice president, creative services; Michael Ferrera, vice president asset management, store design and store planning; Krisak Apibunyopas, senior project director. Bloomingdale’s/Macy’s construction team: Bruce Quisno, vice president of construction; Mike Hill, senior project manager; Neil Gauen, construction administrator; Kevin Konz, fixture coordinator; Vesta Burnett, purchasing project coordinator. Lighting consultant: Doug Russell, Lighting Workshop. Structural engineering: Sailful Bouquet. MEP engineering: Hixson Architects, Inc. (LT Thorn, senior project manager).

WHERE
Santa Monica, California. 101,000 total square feet on two floors. Cost/sf: Withheld at client’s request. 

WHAT
Furniture and upholstery: Barrett Hill. Wallcoverings: Carnegie; Maharam; Elitis (through Donghia); Wolf-Gordon; MDC Wallcovering; Innovations in Wallcoverings. Paint: Benjamin Moore. Laminate: Wilsonart; Laminart. Flooring: Architectural Systems, Inc.; Chilewich. Carpet/carpet tile: Atlas Carpet; Loom Concepts. Lighting: Juno; Phoster; Litemakers. Glass: Verre églomisé; Lisa Stimpson; Carvart (fragrance showcase etched bronze mirrors). Additional upholstery: Majalite. Showcases: Faubion Associates, Inc. Loose fixtures: Bruewer Woodwork Mfg. Co. Plumbing fixtures: Toto; Electronic Faucets. Retractable fitting room pods: Moon Design Manufacturing. Metal racks: Mega Vision, Inc. Specialty metal racks: JP Metal.

 


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