Melrose Avenue in West Hollywood has its share of trendy shops , bearing such names as Marc Jacobs, Carolina Herrera, Alexander McQueen and Miu Miu. To help her new boutique stand out among all those high-profile neighbors, fledgling retailer Rochelle Gores hired Montalba Architects Inc. (Santa Monica, Calif.), the creator of luxury stores for such clients as Monique Lhuillier and Neil Lane.
“We knew we needed to create a unique shopping environment for the international and hard-to-find designers that Rochelle’s boutique would feature,” says David Montalba, founder of the firm bearing his name. To that end, Montalba decided the 1700-square-foot store should emulate 18th century European shopping arcades, where individual designers showcased their designs.
Montalba says the store’s physical layout made turning that design concept into a reality something of a challenge with its long and narrow shape (19 feet wide and just over 80 feet long) and low ceilings (just over 10 feet). To let as much natural light as possible into the space, most of its façade is given over to a display window. Inside, Montalba installed a series of three triangular vitrines topped with walnut down the center of the space. Above each vitrine is an edge-lit walnut soffit.
“Those displays rhythmically disperse light, creating an ‘arcaded’ space,” says Montalba. “The centrality of the vignettes and their visual impact compels the customer to interact with the displays and merchandise, rather than having them absorb everything at once.”
Arcade Boutique, West Hollywood, Calif.: Rochelle Gores, owner
Montalba Architects Inc., Santa Monica, Calif.: David Montalba, principal/owner; Michael Knopoff, senior project manager; Jessica Karle, project designer; Josh Russell, Heather McGinn and Vincent Zollinger, designers
General Contractor and Flooring
Sarlan Builders Inc., Beverly Hills, Calif.
Outside Design Consultants
John Brubacker Architectural Lighting Consultants, Los Angeles
Micro Connection, Whittier, Calif.
Breakform Design LLC, El Segundo, Calif.
Millworx Inc., Pacoima, Calif.
Furniture and Props/Decoratives
Joan Behnke & Associates Inc. Interior Design, Los Angeles
Greneker, Los Angeles
Fineman Padded Walls, Los Angeles