Orla Kiely's flagship store in New York is a 215 m2 boutique, situated on the ground floor of a 19th century manufacturing building at 5 Mercer street in the landmark area of Soho. It is the new home from home for the Irish designer's latest collection. The 7.5m x 28m long space is divided lengthways in two parts; an open plan area that can be used for catwalk shows or exhibitions and a series of domestic scale rooms that house Kiely's signature collection of bags, homewares, stationary, beauty products and wallpaper designs. The spaces are arranged as a 1:1 cross-section of a doll's house, acting like a stage-set for customers to play out their ambitions of creating an ideal home, complete with original Orla Kiely designs. The modern, interchangeable interior street space allows for theatrical events and unusual displays while the backstage service rooms are integrated into the doll's house. Making the customer feel comfortable is a priority in retail design and the spaces are proportioned with familiar dimensions relating to a typical home. The cabinetry is designed in modules of 450mm and 750mm to correspond with seat and desk height while the interior spaces have ceilings of 2.4m as in a typical living room or kitchen. All of the furniture was manufactured in Ireland and shipped stateside, representing a tour de force of Irish design abroad. Solid dark American walnut cabinets with high gloss sprayed doors and thin metal legs occupy the floorspace. Very similar to the furniture used in Orla Kiely's own home, they reflect the quirky, retro style of her brand. Visitors to the shop are inclined to pick a room and sit down, "I'm very happy if they want to hang out," the designer says.

Area: 215 m2 (2300 sq ft)
Type: Commercial
Location: 5 Mercer street, New York
Status: Completed September 2011


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