October 21, 2016
Bureau Spectacular’s first retail design, for Frankie, in downtown Los Angeles has received recognition for its unique design.
Connect Media spoke with the firm’s Founding Partner Jimenez Lai about his inspiration behind the design, and how architecture’s role is pivotal in brick-and-mortar retail.
Q. Tell us about the inspiration and vision behind the design of Frankie, both inside and outside of the store.
A. The inside is modular, deconstructed and multi-functional like a Swiss-army knife. The de-compartmentalization allows for the spaces between the modules to be re-configurable. As well, when the parts are recombined into a whole, a giant staircase is formed. It allow for visitors to use this staircase as seating, or even stage performances. The exterior highlights and accents existing architectural characteristics of the building’s historic facade.
Q. In a time when brick and mortar is being threatened by e-commerce, how does architecture and set-up of a store impact foot traffic and promote in-store visits?
A. The experience of shopping ties hand-in-hand with a sense of occasion. The same way you would sit down at a family dinner to a nice meal, versus going to a fast food drive-thru; while both would satisfy your hunger, a meal has sense of occasion, which is something that only architecture can accomplish.
Q. How did you use technology to help facilitate the design?
A. In constructing Frankie’s interior, we employed digital simulation as a way to anticipate the individual modules of the staircase coming together to form a singular object.
For comments, questions or concerns, please contact Daniella Soloway