Los Angeles, California
A pink concrete world in the middle of Los Angeles: Adjaye Associates designs the new Flagship Store for The Webster.
“The acropolis of consumerism.” This was the media’s pronouncement on opening day, in 1982, of an eight-floor bulk raised on an entire block between Beverly Hills and West Hollywood, and which has since provided Angelenos with high-end stores, popular restaurants, and moviehouses: a near-inexhaustible offer that has made Beverly Center the archetypal civic hub of the quintessential city of sprawl. The last decade saw a certain slump caused by the moving-out of some major firms and the rise of online shopping, but the mall has now embarked on a full renovation – both physical and conceptual – that seeks to bring in brands and customers anew. The new
boutique of a luxury fashion house takes up the curved corner of the building and cedes part of its commercial space to create something which is a rarity in the metropolis where the automobile reigns supreme, a public pedestrian zone preceding a landscape of organic forms that serve as retail display furniture, all of them made of concrete poured into formworks on the site. The stark materiality of these elements draws attention to the products on sale, but the atmosphere of the boutique is enriched by the alternation of concrete textures and a pink tone that the saturated Pacific light accentuates, giving shoppers an experience way beyond the transactional purpose of a store.