Basic Instincts Frilly detailing was the last thing Spanish retailer Zara wanted for the design of its new U.S. flagship on Fifth Avenue in New York. Instead, the sleek, clean lines of the Zara apparel line served as a guide for the project. In the category of New or Renovated Specialty Stores (over 5,000 sq. ft.), R. Ceretti + Associates received an honorable mention for its design work on the project.

The design mission for the store was to be the standard bearer of the Zara brand image in a new market, creating customer recognition among established competitors.

Zara's lighting is a mix of halogen and fluorescent with a high brightness level. Dramatic, full-height backlit glass walls, indirect ceiling coves and backlit niches surround merchandise with diffuse light from the sides and above. Colors and material are minimal, with a tightly controlled palette consisting of pure white, natural pine millwork and brushed stainless steel accents. Large format black-and-white images are an integral part of the apparel and accessories mix.

AWARD RECIPIENT R, CERETTI + ASSOCIATES New York Robert Ceretti, AIA, FISP (principal-in-charge); J. Dario Ortiz (project manager); Manny Saba (project coordinator); Linnore Solorzano (color and materials); David Apfel (lighting design); Alan Schwartz, PE (engineering)

CLIENT ZARA USA La Coruna, Spain Product Manufacturers/Suppliers: CTH, New York (contractor); Mobilari Zara, Spain (fixtures); Junckers (wood flooring)