design:retail - July 2017 - 64
← Gensler set out
to create an
data on sales,
foot traffic and
→ The neutral
products to be
the heroes in
engineered oak wood floor with a dark stain). The
ceiling heights also vary between the light and dark
sides to further define the product and demo zones.
"This split creates a dramatic architectural statement and is intended to draw customers, eventually becoming an iconic retail expression of the
b8ta brand," Carr describes.
The use of light also plays a significant role in the
design. An LED light strip carried around the entire store perimeter draws the eye to the product
display plane. Ceiling-mounted LED tracks and
LED track heads also light the product tables at
the center of the store, and focused adjustable LED
downlights spotlight the products on the dark side.
For every product on both the demo and display sides, there is an iPad mounted to a "brick."
Designed by b8ta, the user interface and brick
design tie the product presentation together for
customers. All of these design tricks re-emphasize
b8ta and Gensler's goals: discovery through clear,
simple communication. "As beautiful as the space
is, it goes unnoticed, because it directs your eye to
the product, which is clearly the objective," adds
Jill Nickels, principal and studio director, Gensler.
"This is not your standard retailer looking for financial transactions."
While each store focuses on the global brand
message, the interior design does allow for localized messaging. "There is a place for localized
messaging that may change for the store," Carr
says. "[And in each] store there is that one element
that is specific to the needs of the local market." For
instance, the Austin store has a kitchen counter for
kitchen products and a larger focus on music and
audio products. At the Santa Monica store, which
is located in a section of Santa Monica Place that
focuses on kid-focused retail, the front of the b8ta
store is dedicated to children's products, with shelf
heights catered to kids' body heights, soft woven
poufs and multicolored pendant lights. The future
San Francisco site will have a social meeting area
for b8ta executives to host makers and investors.
The basis of b8ta is much more than a retail
space. "I hope [our business model] has a profound
effect. The current retail model is very tired, and
with the exception of a few retailers, the industry is
failing to embrace technology," Raub says. "Retailers need to be focused on bringing new products to
market faster, creating experiences that customers
want and, lastly, developing a feedback loop to iterate on those experiences."
This is a curated environment seeking human
touch. Go ahead and touch away.
*Multiple locations (Pictured: Santa Monica, Calif.)
CONTRACT DESIGN FIRM/
Henderson (MEP), KPFF
Sutherland Felt Co.
Kirei Panels (felt hood)
Information in the project file is
provided by the retailer and/or
*This Project FIle does not
reflect materials used in the
Palo Alto location.