Last month saw the opening of a new Margaret Howell concept store in Tokyo, designed by William Russell and his team at Pentagram Architects. The latest product of Russell’s longstanding collaboration with Howell, this is the first stand-alone space for her diffusion brand MHL. The small (43m²) ground floor retail space is in the Daikanyama district and is clad externally with black steel grill panels. The interior features new display units, cash desk and furniture with a warehouse style storage wall behind the counter.
William Russell’s previous interior work with Margaret Howell includes the Place de la Madeleine store in Paris and award-winning Fulham Road store in London.
A look inside the new MHL store after the jump.
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Quick Link: Weeds Dining Room in The New York Times
“Weeds” is all about the sacred and the profane. Or maybe the sacred and the mundane.
In the Showtime series a California housewife played by Mary-Louise Parker turns to selling marijuana after the death of her husband. The darkly comic mix of suburbia, naïveté and family dynamics is portrayed against a background of drugs, death, deceit and personal demons. The amount of killing, death, pain and humiliation surpasses even recent mob-themed shows; and this is a comedy!
This year’s Metropolitan Home Showtime House consists of twin penthouses at the luxury Tribeca Summit loft condominiums. James Biber and his team at Pentagram Architects were one of 14 designer teams invited to create rooms inspired by the network’s original programming.
Biber and his team, working on their first showhouse design, referenced a comic climax from “Weeds” for their design of the dining room. For those not up on the show’s past seasons, the scene was an eye-rolling reveal of a stolen rooftop lighted cross lifted from a new local religion-based community’s church. The enormous crucifix finally appears, lashed to the ceiling of a hastily assembled “grow house.” The stolen cross has become a lighting fixture over a bed of marijuana plants!
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Tonight, a special launch event will mark the opening of Margaret Howell’s first store in mainland Europe, in Paris’ Place de la Madeleine. Margaret Howell Paris and the recent refurbishment of an existing store in the Jinnan-Shibuya district of Tokyo are the latest product of a ten-year creative relationship between Pentagram Architect William Russell and Margaret Howell, during which the pair have defined an award-winning interior style that is soon to be introduced throughout the clothing designer’s 66 stores in Japan.
“For the past ten years I have worked with Will Russell on the design of our shop interiors,” says Howell. “Whilst incorporating my ideas, Will always adds something that just wouldn’t occur to me—a special spatial vision—resulting in a rewarding and successful working relationship.”
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During the financially dismal 2008 holiday shopping season, one product held up nicely: bras. Intimacy, a growing chain of high-end intimate apparel stores, saw its sales increase 4.4 percent over the past year, a period during which it launched a new identity by Pentagram and a new store design by Pentagram Architects.
Located in upscale shopping malls across the country, Intimacy as a brand differentiates itself from its competitors by offering personalized bra fitting services, elegant environments and European designer brands such as La Perla. The first store built with the new design is in Boston’s Copley Place, the city’s most distinctive shopping destination, and will serve as the prototype for future stores, as it has for Intimacy’s most recent outlet in Miami.
Developed by James Biber and Associate Michael Zweck-Bronner, the Intimacy environments feature spacious, well-appointed fitting rooms, high-end furnishings and fittings, and a refined color palette of gray and gold. Intimacy’s logo, designed by Paula Scher, is evoked in the details of the store’s design. Custom-designed hangers and gold environmental graphics play off the mark’s ornamental brackets that snugly embrace the company’s name.
A look inside Intimacy after the jump.
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A multidisciplinary team led by William Russell and Angus Hyland has created the name, identity and interior architecture for Matter, a live music venue that sits under the iconic domed roof of London’s O2 Centre.
Arranged over three floors, with a capacity of 2,600 and equipped with state-of-the-art sound and lighting equipment, Matter is set to become a major landmark in London’s contemporary music scene.
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Lorenzo Apicella has designed a 13,500-square-foot showroom for the footwear company Jimlar on the corner of Fifth Avenue and 56th Street, in the heart of New York’s luxury retail district. With James Biber’s team facilitating the design and construction, Apicella was able to overcome the challenges of a low ceiling and deep footprint to create a sophisticated showroom of seven private view galleries held together by a large central space that contains a reception area, a lounge and an island meeting room.
The galleries ring the showroom, taking advantage of its perimeter natural light, while the central space is a southwest-oriented linear layout with canted walls that draw visitors towards the windows of Fifth Avenue. Three round, backlit ceiling lights add height and airiness to the space, while complementary colors and materials such as walnut floors, chalk white and dove gray walls, and furniture from B&B Italia lighten the showroom’s deep footprint.
“The arced and canted walls and the subtle curves of the island meeting room were inspired by the spare lines of classic shoe designs,” says Apicella.
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The July issue of Architect magazine asked five architects, including James Biber, to redesign Starbucks in light of the company’s recent downturn. (Shares have fallen by 42% in the last year, and the company has announced its plan to shutter 600 stores.) Biber, who is featured on the cover caffeinating in New York’s City Bakery, proposed an environment that caters to a range of experiences—from fast to slow, from social to private—within a setting redesigned to be simple, efficient and universal. The approach even includes a new name for the chain: *$.
Biber’s complete proposal after the jump.
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Pentagram has named and created the identity for matter, a new multi-million pound London music venue from the team behind the renowned club fabric.
A cross-disciplinary team led by architect William Russell and graphic designer Angus Hyland is also developing the venue’s interior architecture, which will consist of a three-storey, 2,600 person capacity venue underneath the domed roof of The O2 arena in North Greenwich.
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William Russell has designed the new Alexander McQueen store in Los Angeles. The flagship shop is located on Melrose Avenue on the corner of Melrose Place and is the latest in a recent expansion by McQueen, which has seen Russell designed stores opening in Las Vegas, Moscow, Bahrain, Osaka and Vilnius.
The stores employ the interior design language created by Russell and McQueen for the original three flagship stores in London, Milan and New York, creating a branded spatial experience full of drama and intrigue.
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