When commissioned to design British fashion brand Reiss' first Californian (and only second US) store, architectural consultancy d-raw took inspiration from both the natural and the artificial in order to make a bold yet inviting statement space that would redefine the retailers existing identity for a US audience.
Taking a previously redundant, two-storey building on Robertson Avenue, at the foot of the Hollywood hills, d-raw carried out major reconstructive surgery to create an entirely new box-like blank canvas. Whilst the interior is based on a strong, sculpturally influenced repertoire of flowing shapes and solid materials such as marble, wood and resin the exterior is composed almost exclusively of glass, allowing for large-scale wraparound graphics to adorn every inch of the façade.
As a brilliant example of drive-by architecture (design which demands as much impact from the road as it does from the sidewalk, essential for a car-oriented city such as LA) while the store appears sleek by day - reflecting the blue skies and sunshine - by night it becomes a glowing, branded cube and the labels own best advertisement.
Another important factor of the site-specific design is the way that the interior design utilises the natural interplay between fluctuating levels of daylight throughout the day.
The outer glass layer is punctuated by a swathe of large-scale but pixelated graphic shapes, which cast patterns (ranging from rectangular shafts to light dappling) onto the floors and walls of the store interior as the sunlight shifts from one spot to another. The result is a subtle but powerful reinvention of the dynamics of the interior hour-by-hour, subtly breaking into the otherwise slick serenity of the space.
As a city (rather than site) specific design detail d_raw also devised a set of triple-tiered semi-opaque dividing curtains, which slice through the centre of the first floor space to provide a screen on which to project films. Echoing the interplay of light and shade orchestrated by the window graphics as much as the city's rich cultural heritage the films are enlarged to the point where they become pieces of abstract, moving art.
A boutique-within-the-boutique-style VIP area toward the back of the upper level affirms the brands commitment to its Hollywood location.
Despite different executions, like the brands London headquarters, the LA Reiss store delivers a clear brand statement simultaneously tailored specifically to a local audience.