Marc Jacobs Los Angeles

Los Angeles, CA, 2006

Located at the intersection of Melrose Place and Melrose Avenue, this project participates in forging a sophisticated urban relationship with a rapidly changing neighborhood. Together with four other spaces anchoring the intersection - a Marc by Marc Jacobs, Marc Jacobs Men’s store, and two stock facilities - this store is part of a dynamic spatial relationship that bridges the intersection and encourages participation in an urban context, going beyond the realm of traditional retail architecture. The connections between these sites, and the contrasting nature of the retail brands within, effectively capture the contrasts inherent in West Hollywood’s urban fabric.

The Marc Jacobs Collection store draws in the delicate scale of the surrounding community even as it occupies a prominent position within it. Its unique triangular form negotiates two distinct conditions: the intimate architectural vocabulary of the residences, shops, and boutiques along Melrose Place, and the desire to announce itself as an understated monument whose rooftop billboard, grand apse, and interior columns can be seen from a distance by approaching traffic along Melrose Avenue. The result is an architectural response to both site and neighborhood that augments the social vitality of the urban landscape.

The structure was stripped to its shell with only the existing climbing fig envelope remaining, then retrofitted with new steel windows and doors. The sales floor and ceiling were raised and restructured, and the entrance relocated to a more prominent position to take advantage of the unique building shape. A layered interiority characterizes the design strategy for the interior: sycamore shelving was placed in front of the windows to maximize the available display area, in turn permitting a pocket of space to be oriented outward to address the street.

Layers of silk-and-velvet curtain separate these displays from the interior and provide a double-sided backdrop when closed. Cladding interior wall surfaces in antique mirror reduced their presence and visually expanded the space, effectively creating an inverse relationship whereby the window areas are portrayed as solid and wall spaces as void, both maximizing area for product and creating a backdrop for display.

Seating and tables designed by Christian Liaigre.

Status: Built
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