Well-Fashioned Design

Wednesday, September 24th, 2014

Photos by Christian Columbres 

Featured Company: Hollwich Kushner

Location: Portland, OR

Project Type: Store

Project Name: Steven Alan Portland 

When fashion designer Steven Alan enlisted Hollwich Kushner (HWKN) to envision a national expansion for new stores in Portland, Atlanta, Dallas, and Chicago, the architecture firm’s co-founder and principal Matthias Hollwich knew that he and his team had to develop an architecture that could be tailored to each unique space and accommodate each season’s products. He succeeded. “The design is bold, appropriately flexible, and modest yet rustic,” says Steven Alan himself. “The new series of stores that Hollwich Kushner has designed creates a template, which allows us to showcase from our favorite designers around the world.” We talked with Hollwich about exactly how he made his client this happy.

Design Bureau: What are the best examples of fantastic design in this particular project?

Matthias Hollwich: The store’s design is a celebration of raw materials and mechanical connections. Thick steel brackets are used to connect locally sourced lumber. The system of standardized shelving is infinitely flexible to show off products both large and small. The combination of cubbies, racks, shelves, and counters offer on-demand closed and open storage and can be customized for each season’s products. By focusing on the material connections, we were able to incorporate locally sourced lumber for each store so that every store has the same general pieces, but a look and feel that is completely tailored to the local environment.

DB: Of those details, which best represents the project’s aesthetic? Which are you most proud of?

MH: The heavy-duty hardware hinges that we use to join together all of the modular shelves. The nature of the system pushes the products to the foreground while creating a truly flexible system for Steven Alan. At each location, we also designed huge custom lights to hang over the space, which we’re very proud of. The designs are all very graphic—like massive Xs or giant squares, and the finishes match the modular shelves to tie the whole space together.

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