- Landscape Design:Kaisei‐en
- Structural Engineer:Gordon Polon
- Lighting:Dan Brunn Architecture
- Environmental Graphics:Tako Tyko
- Architect In Charge:Dan Brunn
- City:West Hollywood
- Country:United States
Text description provided by the architects. The flagship store of Road to Awe (RtA) is as streetwise as the clothes produced by this Los Angeles fashion brand. Los Angeles architect Dan Brunn, AIA, created a complex, dream‐like space with geometric precision, meditative sensations, and positive/negative dualities. Graced with street exposure from two sides, the streamlined boutique proclaims its variably angled black façades to the public. Dan Brunn Architecture renovated a 1,200‐square‐foot, 1970s building to create the new retail space, maintaining its footprint, but completely reshaping its geometry to create a more cohesive, sculptural experience. Inside, the 10‐foot‐tall space features concrete floors, black mirrors, wood surfaces, and blackened steel beams, creating a minimalist backdrop to the edgy fashion. An interior garden contributes calm and brings a mannered sense of nature into the scene.
Instead of installing typical storefronts that allow the merchandise to be viewed at a glance, Brunn reduced the amount of exterior glass to create a more exclusive atmosphere. A large window is set at an angle to face traffic moving east, while smaller windows provide views of the interior at the pedestrian scale. Reducing the size of the windows lends an air of exclusivity, offering a selective experience of the brand and encouraging the curious to venture inside to discover the goods. An added sense of mystery is achieved by the new “floating” canopy in front of the building. A floor‐to‐ceiling pivot door seamlessly blends with the black exterior when closed, and generously welcomes shoppers when open. There is a constant interplay between open and closed, light and dark, and exposure and concealment.
The interior of the store is organized around the central garden—a circular contemplative area accented by a single tree surrounded by grass and a curved wooden bench. The tree is planted under a skylight that mirrors the turf/bench circle and filters sunshine into the space. This introduction of nature, created by Japanese landscape designer Hitoshi Kitajima of Kaisei‐en, is meant to represent LA’s Asian influences and provide the “awe” represented by the fashion brand.