Project Spotlight: Rent the Runway

The project consisted of the development of a new concept prototype environment for Rent the Runway and the implementation of that concept into a new, New York City flagship location of approximately 6,000 sf. The program included reception and service areas (Service Bar), main merchandise area (Dream Closet) and fitting rooms for walk-ins and appointments (Styling Studio).

From the first moment you enter the store, the overall abundance of the closet is intentionally visible but as you explore more you’ll find giant jewelry cases and other smaller scale details and surprises. Unlike typical retail fixtures, these cases are fully accessible and customers are invited to open and search through drawers as if they were in their own closet. From the Dream Closet, customers can then move to the walk-in fitting rooms or
the appointment only Styling Studio – depending on their desired level of service.

RTR is exactly the kind of project we love – a client that is intentionally trying to create something entirely new and unique. As they are a disruptive, paradigm shifting online business, the store had to equally demonstrate that it is not a retail-asusual environment (Dream Closet). In addition, we wanted to foreground and fully integrate the service portion of the RTR model in a unique and customer focused way (Service Bar) as well as create a new signature environment for one-on-one styling appointments (Styling Studio). The key to achieving the project goals was to really commit to the idea and details of a giant, aspirational “Dream Closet” and intentionally move away from recognizable retail elements like free-standing fixtures and mannequins. Similarly, the Service Bar sought to deliver a high level of customer care in a more enjoyable social environment. At the end of the day, far from being a typical retail store, the
main space was designed more as the world’s greatest closet that happens to also include a really cool bar.

Through the layout, design and details the store is the physical embodiment of the band promise. Customers are welcomed into an aspirational fantasy closet where access and abundance are readily on display. Signage and wayfinding are intended to reinforce the not retail-as-usual design goals. Subtle and elegant, they are intended to provide clear direction without recalling any of the loud, commercialism of traditional retail graphics.

Get to Know Us!

Paul Gomez

How long have you been with HHA?

5 years (2yrs as an intern and 3yrs full time)

What is your favorite past time?

My favorite past time is playing sports like soccer/crossfit/biking/running. I also like to travel and try different foods from other cultures.

What is your favorite HHA project?

My favorite HHA project has been Drybar. I have been able to grow a lot in some areas as a designer specially in the retail area. I am getting to work in another projects so there might be a new favorite.

What are 3 things on your bucket list?

I want to climb the Everest, sky dive and visit as many architectural landmarks as I can in the world.

If you won the lottery, what is the first thing you would do?

I first would be to help the poor in my country by generating work places. For example, a lot of people in Ecuador have construction knowledge and I always had the dream of building houses for poor people but having them working in the construction of their home. So is not only helping them by giving them money but giving them are reason to work for and a home.

Who is your favorite architect (or one of your favorite spaces by an architect)?

Alejandro Aravena. He is Chilean architect who has been designing housing projects in many countries, his idea is based on fast housing construction by building half of a house, these homes are given / sold to low income people. These houses have structures to develop the other half of the house at any moment the owners decide to expand their home.

What type of projects do you enjoy working on?

If it is work aside from the company, I like to build things, like furniture or painting. I truly enjoy creating small scale items that I can say I made them.

What would you be doing if you weren’t an architect?

A soccer player or a product designer / graphic designer / I also love drawing and painting.

What We’re Loving!

Loving the MOSS out of it!

Are you overwhelmed by the lack of fun and colorful acoustic panels? Well don’t fret! The best new thing is moss sound absorbers. Nordgrona is a Swedish company that have been around for just a few short years. During that time they’ve already built a large customer base, including BMW, Apple, Porsche, BCG, Microsoft, IKEA, etc. They handpick their moss from forests and mountainous areas in northern Scandinavia.

Their products include three different types; convex, pixel, and ceiling tiles. Best part about this product is, YOU get to decide how you want it placed and/or hung. On their website, you can create your own design. Get as creative as you want, rotate the shapes, choose your color scheme, and upload your own background. And for any designers out there, Nordgrona also provides 3D modeling and materials such as CAD and Sketchup, as well as other programs.

If you’re still not sold on this awesome product, maybe some fun facts about how this product is eco-friendly should do the trick! This product is made of renewable materials where possible, fully recyclable, and good for the environment. Did I forget to mention it’s a hypoallergenic material, and no maintenance is needed? The moss is persevered and treated with colors, so it is no longer alive and does not require any sort of maintenance or water or sunlight.

Click here to find out more!