Flagship space for major distributor: A new sales center and product display retail space for international kitchen and bathroom equipment.
Davis & Warshow, the largest US East Coast distributor of international kitchen and bathroom fixtures and fittings, combined four originally separate small showrooms in the Architects and Designers Building on Manhattan’s Upper East Side into one large flagship space.
The design solution evolved around three main client requirements: - An integrated showroom and workspace for sales force and customer service, without hierarchy or back office areas. All work functions to be open, visible and accessible. - Product offerings change frequently, display changes to be easy and efficient without appearing temporary. - The location in a union labor, Upper East Side commercial building dictated minimal installation time on site, to contain cost and minimize disruption to other tenants.
Most fixtures and elements were fabricated off site and installed without incurring overtime charges. The entrance tunnel creates a visual focus on the company logo, which is back-lit using a series of videos of flowing water, the primary element connecting all products on display. The space integrates a working office area that is separated visually by product display partitions carrying faucet collections. This allows for immediate interaction with salespeople on the display floor, but also creates privacy for client meetings. To facilitate the navigation through the vast product offering, besides the typical division between kitchen and bath areas, the products were grouped by typology, creating communal table-like display units.
Tops can be easily modified and refinished to adapt to new products. The hanging light boxes are a play on traditional vanity mirrors in a cross-section of styles and designs, and on a traditional kitchen countertop scene. The location is now one of Davis and Warshow’s greenest and most eco-responsible (low-VOC paints and coatings, FSC certified woods, locally sourced materials and fabrication, and high-efficiency/low consumption lighting.)
Colors and materials were selected to evoke associations with washing and cleanliness. A gradation of off-whites that range from pale yellows and blues terminate in the aqua green shower stall displays.