Terron Schaefer, group senior vice president for sales and marketing at Saks Fifth Avenue, approached Pentagram to design the holiday window displays at the store’s New York flagship. The idea needed to connect snowflakes and bubbles—motifs which had been used previously—and give the store a way to display its merchandise.
Pentagram’s Harry Pearce and Naresh Ramchandani and their teams came up with a concept that divided the Saks store into two worlds, the subterranean world of the bubble makers and the imaginary world of the snow makers who inhabit the roof of the building. Connecting the two is a curious little girl called Holly who whilst shopping in Saks on Christmas Eve with her parents finds a door which allows her into both worlds. First she visits the cave full of fantastic machines operated by ‘beautiful people in beautiful gowns’. She then rides a bubble produced by the machines, which takes her to the roof where she meets the yetis that make the snow.
William Russell and John Rushworth and their teams have collaborated on the branding and store design for Drake’s gentlemen’s outfitters. The store at No. 3 Clifford Street is the first ever Drake’s shop and opened in May this year.
The challenge for this established manufacturer who had previously sold their wares online and wholesale was to create a brand presence in an area containing already well renowned and long established brands.
The latest iteration of fashion designer Margaret Howell’s MHL concept store opened in Osaka, Japan, in May this year. Rolling out this store involved a re-fit of a small shop unit on the second floor of a large mall adjacent to Osaka’s train main station. In the Margaret Howell spirit of good design being about ‘living with thoughtful style,’ William Russell has enlarged the space with natural light, installing a diffuser laminate window at the rear of the store allowing daylight into the fitting room lobby. The store’s storage units and furniture were specially designed and built for the space. The next MHL store opens later this year in Hokkaido with one in London following soon after.
Russell’s previous interior work with the brand includes the design of a MHL concept store in Tokyo and Margaret Howell flagship stores in the Jinnan-Shinbuya District in Tokyo, the Place de la Madeleine in Paris and Fulham Road in London.
Like many designers, Pentagram’s Daniel Weil uses sketching to visualize, generate and refine his ideas. Weil has, by his estimation, more than 375 sketchbooks, going all the way back to 1978. In a new short film directed by Nicolas Heller, Weil shares some of his recent notebooks and talks about how drawing helps him link ideas from subjects as wide-ranging as Kandinsky and vacuum cleaners, inspiring new forms and objects like his recent Clock for an Architect. Seen in the film are sketches for Weil’s work for Mothercare, Benetton, the Israel Museum, United Airlines and the Savoy Hotel.
“In a way the books become both a diary and record for my thoughts: the things I see, the things I think about, and the designs I’m designing,” says Weil. “Drawing is a designer’s most fundamental tool; it is design thinking made visible.”
William Russell and Daniel Weil have collaborated to create the physical environment and experience for the first augmented reality theatre in the world. The Attenborough Studio is a high-tech audio-visual venue on the ground floor of the Darwin Centre at the Natural History Museum. The space hosts events shows and films about all aspects of life on Earth and scientific discovery.
The project is the product of a partnership between the Natural History Museum and BBC Research & Development, and is the first time augmented reality—the blending of computer graphics into real life—is being used in a high profile public space in this way.
Congratulations to James Biber FAIA, who after 19 years as a partner at Pentagram opened Biber Architects on the auspicious date of 10/10/10.
Trained as an architect at Cornell, Biber has done design work unconfined by traditional disciplines since 1984, when he partnered with a graphic designer and an illustrator in his first Soho architectural office. Over his two decades at Pentagram, his work extended to include collaborations with the firm’s other architects, graphic designers, product designers and new media designers. Biber Architects will take the evolution of his practice to the next level. Being an innovator in the multidisciplinary design world gives James a perspective that few can exercise in the creation of a new design paradigm.
Pentagram’s long-standing relationship with Cass Art saw the opening of a fifth store on 7 August. Under the brand direction of Angus Hyland and with interiors designed by William Russell the Hampstead store marks a new phase of expansion for Cass Art, which has seen business grow 20% each year over the last 3 years.
Lorenzo Apicella was asked to design a new flagship branch building for M&T Bank that would capture the essence of M&T’s core values with a design that would endure well into the future, differentiating M&T from its competitors with a distinct and compelling image.
It was agreed that this flagship branch, located in West Seneca, New York, would be the model for all future branch construction and renovation. As an architectural prototype the branch design needed to be adaptable to variable future site conditions and business needs. It also had to meet M&T’s environmental goal of having a low carbon footprint, consuming as little energy as possible and producing minimal amounts of waste. The completed building is anticipated to achieve an LEED Gold rating.
To mark the 40th anniversary of the establishment of Robert Welch’s Chipping Campden Studio Shop, Lorenzo Apicella was asked to undertake a major redesign of the space.
Pentagram has a long history of involvement with Robert Welch Designs having developed the graphic identity in the early 1970’s and designing the first mail-order catalogues as well as the book Hand and Machine.
The renewed Bronfman Archaeological Wing of the Israel Museum designed by Daniel Weil and John Rushworth opens on 25 July following over five years of work. The Archaeological Wing originally opened in 1965 and has been redesigned and restored by Pentagram as part of the whole scale renewal of the entire museum campus.