Text description provided by the architects. Since 2011, Spacesmith has been working with Li & Fung, a Hong Kong-based multinational company and recognized leader in the design, sourcing, and distribution of clothing and accessories for prominent retailers. This project consolidates all the LF USA women’s apparel brands onto a single 100,000 SF floor of the Empire State Building.
Spacesmith served as executive architect for the project, which was designed by Hong Kong firm B & Co. The program includes over 25 showrooms, multiple designer work areas, a fabric library, a pattern making room, model fitting rooms, offices, lounges, a large multi-function media room, and a state-of-the-art telepresence room that virtually brings overseas colleagues to the same conference table.
The day-to-day activities in the space encompass many elements of garment production, from design and sourcing to fitting and marketing, so the client requested an industrial aesthetic. Pipes, ducts, and brickwork are exposed, woodwork retains its natural finish, and hanging Edison bulbs help illuminate the space. Hand-troweled concrete floors and a neutral color palette allow the products to stand out.
One enters into a double-height reception area that features a 12-foot video screen wall displaying the latest runway fashions created by LF USA’s designers. The galleria of showrooms is framed by a smooth curved wall finished in DFB Vitruv durable concrete veneer. These rooms are used to showcase the latest fashions from Li & Fung’s representative fashion houses.
The project adheres to the stringent sustainability standards of the Empire State Building. Efficient mechanical systems and temperature control systems have been integrated and non-volatile finishes, paints and adhesives were used to ensure the best indoor environmental performance available. Low flow plumbing fixtures and Energy Star rated appliances are specified throughout. Day lighting sensors automatically adjust lighting levels to complement the amount of natural light flooding into the space from 9’8” windows. The project is anticipating LEED-CI Gold certification.