November 14, 2017
Cofounders of Intermix Launch New Retail Concepts
Lead architect Steve Scuro, of Janson Goldstein, delves into the process of expanding two new brands, Everafter and The Westside in New York and Manhasset
by New York Spaces
The husband-and-wife team behind Intermix, Haro Keledjian and Sari Sloane, enlisted New York-based architecture and design firm Janson Goldstein to expand their two new brands, children's wear boutique Everafter, and California laid-back lifestyle store, The Westside. The firm designed 40 Intermix stores across North America for the Keledijians before helping Haro and Sari open the first Everafter spaces in TriBeCa this April. Another Everafter, in conjunction with The Westside, quickly followed in Manhasset in time for Labor Day. The couple plans to grow the multiband stores organically and open an additional ten locations around the city.
Lead architect on the project Steven Scuro explains Haro and Sari's goals for the two concepts and what Janson Goldstein is doing to bring them to life.
Q: Your working relationship began with the design of Intermix. Why do you think that retail model is so successful?
A: Steve Scuro: In a single word: "contextualism". Janson Goldstein worked very closely with the Intermix team to understand the surrounding context and neighborhood "vibe" for each. This then provided critical clues to material and aesthetic choices. We looked at who the customer was, what they did, where they worked, how they lived, where they dined, etc. to provide an environment that reflected their lifestyle. Intermix eschewed from selecting "white box" mall locations but instead searched out street-front neighborhood properties, often with strong existing architectural elements, which JG incorporated into the final design. These ranged from the underside of the existing highline in the Meatpacking location, existing wood ceiling framing in a former Bowery deli and existing brick walls in a former pizza parlor in Brooklyn.
Q: What design elements did you include to ensure that Everafter + The Westside would stand out and become a destination for buyers?
A: Steve: There is a similar intent behind both of these new brands. The concept is really the old idea of the "neighborhood store" that services solely the community and doesn't "reveal" its national identity. At one point, it was even being discussed that each store location would have a different name. They wanted to create a place where clients would stop in "on their way home." The stores were to be cool, comfortable and effortless to shop in. A particular concern was that Everafter, which serves the 6-16 age groups be fun and exciting, young but at no times "juvenile".
A: Steve: Well, Everafter Tribeca is a stand-alone store in a historic building in Tribeca, very much a part of the neighborhood look and feel. We had beautiful existing brick walls that we kept exposed and converted a small outdoor area in the back into a garden. In Manhasset, we had lightweight metal trusses that we kept exposed as well as an enormous skylight, which we covered with a light cotton to act as a sunshade. And importantly, Everafter in Manhasset is adjacent to The Westside, connected through a wood and glass framed opening, which allows each to play off the other. It's a balance of playful with Everafter and contemporary cool next door. Again, we were trying to make sure the spaces fit into the overall vibe of the area and really draw locals in. Each store has its individual personality.
Q: Can you share some design details for each store and location?
A: Steve: In Tribeca, the "found space" was maintained with the ceiling, ductwork and existing brick left exposed. To break down the long wall and create merchandising zones, we created a backlit screen of natural plywood "sticks" which house the merchandising system. A loose cabinet painted a deep aubergine color sits in front of the wall. The cash wrap sits in the center of the long wall and its importance is further enhanced with a cluster of Tom Dixon Melt pendants in a warm copper finish. A colorful wallpaper by artist Urs Fischer "Palette Wallpaper" is used to wrap the large bulkhead above the shoe and fitting room area. Each fitting room has a different color of striped wallcovering ("Sway" by Trove for Knoll) that seamlessly blends with each other in a burst of color.
A: Steve: For both spaces, we removed the existing sheetrock ceiling to expose the metal truss framing. This and the ductwork were left exposed and painted a very dark charcoal color. This helped tie the two spaces together. A blackened oak and glass surround frames the opening between The Westside and Everafter, creating a dialogue as well as easy customer access. In The Westside, we designed custom wallpaper in collaboration with Creative Matters Inc. to anchor the back wall of the store as well as the wall behind the cash wrap. The wallpaper was inspired by tie-dyed fabric in the colors of denim.
In order to help delineate the large space without adding walls for Everafter, we floated a lower ceiling in the central area between boys and girls. The same colorful wallpaper in Tribeca was used to cover the ceiling plane. We created a new façade with large windows with black metal frames and wood clapboard painted a dark gray.
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