From a Beverly Hills sunglass shop to a mammoth mall in Madrid, the 15th annual SADI Awards winners represent some of the best design work the retail industry has to offer. SADI stands for Superior Achievement in Design and Imaging. Our panel of judges — made up of 13 distinguished architects, interior designers and branding consultants — met in New York in February to review more than 71 entries in 12 categories, ranging from restaurants to super-regional malls. The judges insisted on the highest standards and failed to give awards in two of categories: New Community/Power Center and Renovated or Expanded Community/Power Center. They bemoaned the lack of artistry in the design of today's open-air centers, power centers and most projects that include big-box stores.
Cooper Carry's work on the Macy's store at the Mall at Millennia in Orlando, Fla. was one major exception. The judges felt the 275,000-square-foot box was a far departure from Federated Department Stores' bland vanilla prototype and set a good example for mall anchor stores moving forward. Other trends the judges noticed include a preponderance of red hues, Moorish design influences and metallic mesh curtains as seen at Lladró in Barcelona and Montage in Boston. Another trend was a willingness to push the envelope innovating retail centers outside of the United States.
This year's Grand SADI winner, our judges' runaway favorite, is Daniel P. Coffey & Associates for its transformation of Chicago's Medinah Temple into a Bloomingdale's Home & Furniture store. The project exemplifies all the qualities that SADI recognizes and admires: a remarkable renovation, the creation of a unique shopping environment, the enhancement of a national retailer's brand, and a creative solution to a seemingly impossible problem.