Rather than treating a 4,000 square foot retail store and a 6,000 square foot showroom for women's clothing designer Eileen Fisher as two separate projects, CDR Studio conceived them simultaneously in order to develop a coherent design ethos. Both projects were hard-nosed, complex endeavors with highly compressed schedules.
Two main problems were addressed as a result of CDR Studio's discovery phase. The clear hierarchy of programmatic spaces was foregrounded as a challenge. Comprehensive infrastructural replacement was specified and coordinated in each project. The store required New York City Landmarks approval. As a new building on existing foundations, complex structural issues became a touchstone for innovative and elegant solutions.
The second primary issue emerged in the requirement for the creation of coherent material specifications and responsive lighting within the design and retail spaces. CDR Studio worked closely with the client to implement an environmentally conscious palette of recycled, durable material specifications. The relationship between clothing display and lighting was critical to the success of the project. Flexibility and specificity regarding the illumination needs for the varied programmatic areas called for intensive coordination of all building systems.
Since opening its doors, Ms. Fisher's SoHo location has become her best-selling store. Similarly, the showroom redesign has greatly improved productivity and morale for Ms. Fisher's core staff. Daylighting and natural ventilation has saved the client thousands of dollars in operational costs. Perhaps most important and elusively unquantifiable, both projects create a sense of dignity and purpose within the company’s culture.