Subjective as innovative design may be, there is no question that this year’s batch of Architizer’s A+ Award nominees are redefining shopping.
Established to celebrate the year’s standout architecture and products, the awards are meant to further meaningful architecture and its potential for a positive impact on everyday life. Architizer.com represents what is said to be the largest online community of architects with more than one million monthly views.
This year’s retail contenders include the Helmut Lang Concept store by Standard; Feit: Volume and Void by Jordana Maisie Design Studio; the Target Open House by Local Projects; the Apple store by Bohlin Cywinski Jackson in the Palo Alto Stanford Shopping Center, and the Unilux showroom and store in Beirut by SOMA. Building on the use of Baltic birch, plywood and other natural products that are featured in Feit’s flagship, Maisie created a naturally finished store in 11A Greenwich Avenue, a landmarked block in the West Village. Her modernist design was called Installation Two: Volume and Void.
Helmut Lang’s 3,000-square-foot West Hollywood boutique is loftlike with plaster walls, charcoaled wood and natural reflected light. SOMA’s Michel Abboud’s design for the Unilux Group, the largest supplier of high-end light fixtures in Lebanon, played up light by creating a matrix of geometric elements to create a space for visitors to check out the light fixtures and immerse themselves in cascading light.
Target’s Open House was set up in downtown San Francisco last year to reflect what the connected home of the future will look like. The reimagined retail space took into account the prediction that The Internet of Things market is expected to grow to $1.7 trillion by 2020. Local Projects was asked by the mass chain to design a store demonstrating how these devices will change the world.
Win or lose, Maisie is already envisioning new projects. Once she receives a double master’s in architecture and lighting design from The New School in May, Maisie hopes to collaborate again with her fashion designer brother Josh Goot on a grander scale. The two keep a constant dialogue going about design, and have realized ideas for his shows and have conceptualized store designs. But Maisie said, “We have yet to have the opportunity to work together in the way that we would like to, which largely comes down to having the right financial backing.”
A+ nominees for this year’s Shopping Center award include COEX by Gentler in Seoul; Das Gerber by Ippolito Fleitz Group — Identity Architects in Stuttgart, Germany; the Kurve 7 open-air community shopping facility by stu/D/O Architects in Bangkok; Sino-Ocean Taikoo Li Chengdu by Elena Galli Giallini Ltd. in Chengdu, China, and Doota Shopping Mall by Garde, Co. Ltd. in Seoul. They, along with all of this year’s nominees, are being critiqued by a jury that includes architect Elizabeth Diller, Knoll chief executive officer Andrew Cogan and Kickstarter cofounder Charles Adler, among others.