- Design Team:Emily Abruzzo, Gerald Bodziak, Jessica Angel, Michael Cohen, Christian Golden, Jacqueline Hall, Yasemin Parlar, Danielle Schwartz
- Clients:Hardy Blechman / maharishi
- Engineering:A Degree of Freedom: Structural Engineers
- Lighting Design Consultant:Dot Dash
- Custom Furniture Fabrication:Level Craft
- Curtain Fabrication:Curtains for You
- Finishing:Canopy Creative
- Creative Consultant:Devon Turnbull
- City:New York
- Country:United States
Text description provided by the architects. Abruzzo Bodziak Architects (ABA) designed British clothing brand maharishi’s first store outside of London. The flagship store is situated in New York City’s landmarked Tribeca neighborhood, in a loft building on Lispenard Street, running between Broadway and West Broadway.
The two level store is a building-within-a-building: the project preserves the space’s historic details by placing the new shop inside the existing interior, floating within it. “We left the existing space, with its historic façade and ceiling — as a found condition,” says architect Gerald Bodziak. “This highlights, by contrast, the new, olive green shop inserted within."
A grid of wood cabinetry defines the insertion, marking out two levels: halfway through the space, a mezzanine levitates above the shop, creating an intimate room upstairs. This doubling (above/below; within/without) is a prominent theme inspired by maharishi’s perennial dualistic play with East/West, Nature/Technology, and Camouflage/Hi-Vis.
The design of the store takes cues from formal Japanese gardens and military supply warehouses as well as historic shops of New York City — many of which were lined with cabinetry from floor to ceiling. Mirrors give the space visual depth as well as allow for views of the clothing from both sides; where mirrors are not present, the cabinetry is built to have a physical double.
The military olive green painted cabinetry is lined with pine plywood, left raw to expose natural graining that shares characteristics with the disruptive-patterning of camouflage that maharishi is known for. “In this way,” says architect Emily Abruzzo, “something straightforward — warehouse-like shelving — is imbued with character much in the same way that the brand’s clothing reinterprets utility.”
Each section of cabinetry is fitted with a Japanese custom-woven stand cotton, which can be rolled down to convert from display to storage. “Each material,” says Abruzzo, “defines the multi-layered space: the historical layer gives way to the new cabinetry grid, which then gains additional depth with mirrors; the addition of a rolling textile softens the grid, which is then completed by the clothing.”