The new Anthropologie in Pasadena, CA involved overcoming several challenges due to the fragmented nature of the space as well as two entry points. A historical building, the store encompasses what was once four separate retail spaces. The existing space was comprised of several floor heights which meant both ramps and stairs were needed in order to make the entire sales and back of house space accessible. In addition, there were several concrete shear walls and stair cases which divided the front half of the space into unique and somewhat isolated spaces. It was a challenge both architecturally and programatically to make the merchandise and customer’s path of travel make sense.
Due to the fragmented nature of the front of the store as well as the raised platform at the back entry, the central sales space was left open with a ceiling that popped up in order to contrast the more intimate spaces around the perimeter. Wide planked reclaimed wood was introduced to emphasize the transitions from one room to the next and a soft perimeter plaster tied the larger space together. The stairs and ramps were articulated in rough sewn wood with hot rolled steel handrails . Once up on the platform in the back of the space the floor material changed to concrete, creating an almost ‘porch’ like experience at the alley entrance to the store.
A consistent finish pallet was used across the storefront to unify the once separated and fragmented storefronts. A simple pin-mounted sign was placed above the entry and complimented with a hot rolled steel and wood blade sign to grab pedestrian attention. The store front itself had to be approved by a local historical committee which required adherence to the existing undulating storefront and little disruption to the existing overall character.