The Williams-Sonoma "Grand Cuisine" concept is a unique blend of image, form and
function carrying on the tradition of "serving serious cooks." It evokes a
timeless culinary experience articulated in quality
materials, luxurious kitchen spaces, and good food.
The 15,000 square foot flagship store in New York's SoHo
district challenged us to extend the Grande Cuisine concept while maintaining
historically significant qualities of the building and its surroundings.
The new storefront builds upon 19th century light industrial character of
the interior space and ornate facades of adjacent buildings.
Many prototypical store elements were rethought in this particular store.
To maintain height of the ceiling, the mechanical system was
placed primarily along the periphery of the store, hidden in soffits above
Much effort was put into restoring original materials, including turn of
the century warehouse grade maple flooring.
The centrally located,
plastered range hoods and ash counter tasting bar and cook top have become a
Williams-Sonoma trademark -- referring to the centrally located hearth of the
home. The space is organized as a collection of smaller shops or speciality areas.
Clearly differentiated zones for cookware, cook's tools, cutlery, pantry and
cookbooks are established around the perimeter of the store. Special displays
are accented by ash "focal display fixtures" and "display hutches".