How do you elevate the whole brand story and product through a single spatial experience?
Continuing a long-standing collaborative relationship, Tadashi Shoji asked March Studio to rebrand and redesign his retail spaces at Fashion Show Mall and South Coast Plaza. The goal was to elevate the shopping experience to be inline with his updated design direction and to support the values of Tadashi’s core customers in the US and overseas. Inspired by Tadashi’s runway shows, the space features life size video footage of the latest collection and a series of open, semi-private and private shopping experiences that allows for sharing with friends and family. The architecture reflects the precision and craftsmanship of Tadashi’s designs and is intended to create a sense of a special occasion by “inspiring all women to feel confident and beautiful.”
How does a brand embrace a Los Angeles lifestyle while retaining its international flavor?
Calypso St. Barth is a high-end fashion boutique with a passionate following in Los Angeles, located in the trendy Brentwood Country Mart. March Studio, in collaboration with New York-based Allen + Killcoyne Architects, did an extensive interior renovation, including all finishes, millwork, lighting and displays to create an experience for the local fashionista consumer. The exterior facade was designed to align with the vibe of the Country Mart while still reflecting the elegance of this luxury lifestyle brand.
How does a Brooklyn bred brand establish itself in Californian culture?
The Vice Media brand prides itself on its New York identity, visually referencing its Brooklyn headquarters in its HBO show "Vice." With an elevated profile and continued expansion, it was important for Vice to have a West Coast presence. Working with March Studio, Vice was able to establish a vibrant media hub in Venice, an environment that embodies the sensibility of its street-style Brooklyn roots. Elevating the brand to a new level of professionalism, the old industrial space was transformed with its own version of the celebrated “Bear Room” and Vice was ready to announce its arrival to the capital of entertainment.
How can the work environment inspire and guide the creative process as a whole?
HBO Films is about "strong writing that takes risks and tells a distinct story." March Studio led the design of the visual identity to create a spatial experience that communicates and extends the brand vision. The client shared the belief that architecture could be much more than an aesthetic tool; it could both add to the equity of the company and actually affect its creative process. Using design as a strategic tool, March Studio infused the space with a layering of media, music and unexpected use of materials to inspire and provoke the employees to create an authentic product that is boldly different.
How do you interpret the brand values in a new cultural environment?
Tadashi Shoji has a huge following in the Middle East and March Studio was asked to interpret the US brand experience for the region’s first stand alone store in the city of Doha, Qatar. Elevating the interior materials and finishes to reflect a more intimate and luxurious experience, the store comprises of a sequence of open, semi-private and private spaces in respect for the female Islamic culture. Starting with a double height entry lounge featuring an articulated glass mannequin display wall and floor to ceiling drapes, lit portals then lead the customer through the glass wall to the semi-private central retail space similar to that in the US. The rear area of the store is a completely private dressing lounge and fitting rooms for customers to relax and enjoy a more leisurely shopping experience.
What's the relationship between a brand's Asian location and its NYC headquarters?
"This space has to be a sibling to the New York office," said the founder of NiCE, a creative agency best known for its branding of luxury consumer products. March Studio designed an office with the same industrial vibe that the parking-garage-turned-office in NY has, adding a mezzanine that continues the sleek black-steel-and-glass aesthetic of the original space. Materials, such as astroturf, replace what would have been traditional carpeting in most offices, adding a fun, whimsical tone more in line with the creative agency. The result is a showcase of the global presence of the NiCE brand while celebrating its heritage.
How can the architecture highlight the artist and serve as a backdrop to the brand?
Fred Segal Beauty, a cutting edge brand, wanted to create a salon environment that expressed its hip vibe and communicated the possibilities for services to its clients. The successful beauty brand also looked to leverage its equity with a new day spa concept, retail and workshop. March Studio designed a flexible space focusing on the hair stylist as artist and a creative community or marketplace to "see and be seen." The beauty process is made visible through transparency and the architecture acts as a backdrop allowing the artists to keep the brand relevant, fresh and fashion forward, while creating a sense of ownership for its clients.
How do you inspire people to ride bikes in a city whose identity is defined by the automobile?
Los Angeles is a city designed for the automobile, so when iZip presented March Studio with the challenge of creating a space that would encourage people out of their cars and onto an electric bike, they were inspired by the sunshine and the experience of the outdoors and healthy lifestyle of the Westside of Los Angeles. A huge map of LA’s bike paths was used in order to educate the customer on how accessible LA is by bike, while custom cloud light fixtures, bike lane floor graphics, and a bright color palette were used to evoke a sense of the fun of being outdoors and navigating the city by bike.
How can the documentation of a few Los Angeles city blocks encourage Angelenos to rethink their city beyond the environment of their car?
Collaborating with the same design team as Eames Words for the Getty’s next Pacific Standard Time: Modern Architecture in LA, March Studio visually analyzed, abstracted and recreated (within the walls of the Architecture and Design Museum of Los Angeles) a few blocks of a generic Los Angeles street (taken from Beverly Boulevard). Visitors who experienced the exhibition were encouraged to think more deeply about the identities of their own neighborhoods; the history, architecture, communities and narratives of the people that exist beyond the windshield as they drive by everyday in their cars.
How is the evolution of a brand expressed through its retail environment?
Long time creative partner, women's wear designer Tadashi Shoji, came to March Studio with a desire to experiment with a "full lifestyle experience that celebrates inventiveness and artistry" in a series of new concept stores. The evolution of the Tadashi Shoji brand is manifested through a sequence of spatial installations using familiar objects in unexpected ways, and is intended to evoke a sense of surprise. The initial store experiment, at Glendale Galleria, was developed in collaboration with students of Woodbury University's School of Architecture, who developed the installation concepts with direct input from Tadashi Shoji. The fine detailing of Tadashi Shoji's dresses is juxtaposed by the raw and complex forms of the found object installations.
How can a space promote the brand's culture and expand innovative client collaborations?
New York City is where NiCE was conceived and it's an important part of its heritage and culture. This new space retains the creative collaborative environment of the original studio space (a parking garage turned office also designed by March Studio), while embodying the evolution and growth of the future of the company. A dynamic space was created by March Studio with an element of luxury and exclusivity that mirrors NiCE's aspirational client base and innovative way of working. The result is a community and culture where both employees and clients alike feel joy and inspiration in a way that extends the relationship and enhances the work.
How does a heritage brand bring relevancy to a new generation?
Eden Sassoon's primary aim is to empower women to be their best selves by living authentic, creative and healthy lives. EDEN by Eden Sassoon, her new beauty concept, creates a community and shared culture for women with similar values and beliefs. March Studio designed the premier salon, leveraging the family heritage and its Malibu beach setting, by creating a model for additional franchises. The salon experience invites them in to share in Eden's lifestyle and services at a value affordable to all. EDEN by Eden Sassoon continues the legacy in a way that sets itself apart and allows its audience to change the way they look at beauty in mind, body and soul.
How can giant extruded letters bring a whole new perspective to the work of California’s most celebrated designers?
Ray and Charles Eames are known the world over for their furniture, exhibitions, toys and graphics. So when the Architecture and Design Museum of Los Angeles was asked to be part of the Getty’s Pacific Standard Time: Art in LA citywide initiative, March Studio collaborated with graphic designer Andrew Byrom and the late Deborah Sussman of Sussman and Prejza to create an exhibition that would reveal a whole new perspective on the lives of the celebrated designers. By extruding two giant E's from the word “Eames”' through the space to create form, a tactile and interactive new Eames experience was created featuring their words, philosophy and the eclectic objects that supported them.
How can a space encourage the customer to communicate with, and influence the brand directly?
Petro Zillia designer Nony Tochterman’s relationship with her clients is unique and influential; they are inspired by her personally as an individual and in turn, they inspire the designs of the popular and fun fashion brand. Considering the importance of this dialogue, March Studio designed a store which incorporated an interconnected adjacent design studio and social garden space in order to allow direct interaction between the designer and her clients. The ‘rainbow’ sensibility of the brand is articulated with the design of the entry canopy and an interior architectural canvas that was created for Nony and her partner Yosi to create a visual and tactile snapshot of the world of Petro Zillia, including an eclectic palette of lighting, furnishings, clothing and accessories.
How do you transform a traditional classroom into the most innovative high school creative arts media center in the nation?
The Providence High School Cinema Arts Media Center provides students with a space to film, edit and animate in an environment that simulates a professional, high-tech studio in America's media mecca. March Studio transformed two traditional classrooms into a flexible and informal creative working environment to support multi-disciplinary interaction and collaboration. Re-envisioning the space allowed all parts of the program to be re-imagined and provided a future-forward visual identity for the entire school that better reflects the talents of their students.
How do you create an informal social hub that inspires interaction and collaboration for Ridley Scott's celebrated production company?
RSA Films and Scott Free, are producers of iconic film, television and advertising content. The company needed a central space that would bring together in-house directors and team, external production companies and vendors, for entertainment and collaboration. March Studio, in collaboration with Merrell Williams Design, designed a combined kitchen, reception and waiting area that allows for collective events, small meetings, and individual work opportunities that fuses a warmer cafe-like environment into an existing theatrical/industrial-fantasy space.
How does a digital pop-culture brand coexist with the post-modern identity of Eric Owen Moss?
Blur Studio is an established visual effects, animation and design company with a strong identity and culture who was expanding and moving into a protected historical building designed by architect Eric Own Moss, with a very strong architectural identity of its own. March Studio was asked to consider the identity of Blur and how it could exist in such a space while still retaining the warm and comfortable Blur spatial experience that it was so well known for, and appreciated by its clients and collaborators. Embracing the building’s large iconic clay pipes, March Studio incorporated the signature Blur plywood workstations and added complimentary design features such as a library and screening room that expressed the Blur playful aesthetic and allowed it to establish the culture in subtle ways.
How can a modest atelier represent a school's values and expand its vision for the future?
The Growing Place, a preschool inspired by the educational philosophy of Reggio Emilia, was interested in creating a dedicated studio space. Adopting the Reggio approach, March Studio collaborated with the teachers and children in the design process, creating a space that mirrors the ideas, values, attitudes and cultures of the people who live and work within and, as such, reflect the school's unique strengths, history, community and philosophy. The space for learning is not an isolated studio; it is connected to the school and is fed by its complexities.
Winner of The American Institute of Architects/LA Design Award, 2001.
How does an outdoor lab act as a prototype for others and inspire the scientists of tomorrow?
The Science Lab is a space for learning and testing ideas, providing methods and tools for children to explore their scientific and creative potential. Every available surface is a workspace for sharing thoughts and creating meaning among students and teachers, with focus and depth. March Studio created a building that reflects the unique identity, core values and culture of Caltech University and acts as a prototype for a children's laboratory that can inspire other science-based curriculums. The Lab itself supports the school's mission by acting as a tool for documentation, research, creativity and experimentation.
Winner of The American Institute of Architects/LA Design Award, 2008.