When outdoor equipment retailer Recreational Equipment Inc. (REI) decided to open its first store in New York City in the fall of 2010, the company opted to make a big splash with a location inside a historic landmark—the Puck Building at 303 Lafayette Street. The building, designed in the Romanesque Revival style, is listed in the National Registry of Historic Places and carries landmark status from the New York City Landmarks Preservation Committee.
As a result, REI faced the challenge of not only designing a successful store using a multi-level layout, but honoring the building’s 126-year history by working many of its original features into its new location. REI partnered with architecture firm Callison and several New York historians on the project and ended up being able to use many of the Puck Building’s unique interior details to create a one-of-a-kind location.
For example, REI will use two existing chandeliers, each seven feet in diameter, to create a point of interest on the store’s ground level and two historic steam engine “flywheels” on its second level. Up to 40 19th-century stone printing tablets, used to print Puck Magazine, will be displayed throughout the store.
In addition to honoring history, REI will also employ forward-looking features in the design, including energy efficient LED lighting, repurposed wood from the original construction that will be used for display tables, mirrors, footwear wall and interior elements and a ground-level bike and ski stop where customers could get their equipment serviced.
REI plans to debut the 35,000-sq.-ft. store this November.
To view a gallery of the new location, please click here.