Montroy Andersen DeMarco Architects Completes 1,800 s/f Camper Shoe Store

November 26, 2013

BY: New York Real Estate Journal

Camper Shoe Store, 522 Fifth Avenue - Manhattan, NY

Manhattan, NY The New York architectural firm of Montroy Andersen DeMarco (MADGI) has completed the 1,800 s/f Camper Shoe Store at 522 Fifth Ave. The facility is the Majorca, Spain-based footwear and accessories designer's Manhattan flagship store, the fourth to open in New York City. MADGI served as the project's architect-of-record. A Japanese firm, Nendo, served as the designer. The construction was completed in just eight weeks.

MADGI principal Steven Andersen said, "The $600,000 store represents Camper's creative and unconventional approach to design for its retail outlets around the world. The firm retains different prominent designers and architects for each location in order to create unique experiences for shoppers at each of its stores."

The Fifth Avenue store's minimalistic design resembles an art installation. The most dramatic design elements are the 15-foot-high white perimeter walls that feature 1,800 white resin models of Camper's iconic Pelotas shoe. Reaching the ceiling, the model shoes represent the concept of "walking on air."

"Installed in an orderly pattern, the white model shoes add a three-dimensional quality to the interiors and, along with white and grey display fixtures, accentuate the merchandise," explained MADGI Project Manager Ajay Waghmare. "The lower sections of the walls include individual shoe display plates imbedded in a seemingly random pattern throughout the store."

The facility houses a 1,200-sq.-ft. showroom and a 600-sq.ft. backroom area. The sales floor features two white central shoe display platforms, one 25 feet long and eight feet wide and the second one eight feet long and eight feet wide. The store's fixtures also include three dark grey display cabinets for Camper's newly-introduced accessories line and sitting benches located on the perimeter of the showroom. In addition to the merchandise, the only strong color accent is a red-painted, eight-foot-long cash wrap counter.

The finishes compliment the monochromatic color palette of the store. The newly-installed floor is grey-dyed polished concrete. The flat drywall ceilings are white. The ceiling features 110 USAI Lighting LED downlights, distributed evenly throughout the space to maintain the desired high brightness of the mostly white surroundings.

The team faced several unusual challenges. The client's location in Europe complicated the design process. MADGI and other team members communicated extensively through a video-conferencing website. Online communications continued during the construction phase, with support from a U.S.-based construction manager, who monitored the construction progress on-site.

There were also several logistical and site-related challenges as well. For example, due to the building owner's restrictions, the storefront couldn't be replaced or significantly modified. The designers incorporated the existing storefront into the design of the store.

The space featured large, pre-existing radiators along the front window. Instead of replacing the entire system, which didn't fit in the floor layout, MADGI reduced the construction budget and schedule by replacing only the radiator fins. The new, smaller fins are hidden in the slotted walls with vents that allow for the correct circulation of hot air.

The project team also included WB Engineers + Consultants as the mechanical, electrical, and plumbing (MEP) engineer.

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