Coldwater Creek has built a chain of more than 200 specialty stores around the country by appealing to the authentic, natural boomer woman. But its brand was really challenged by its newest flagship, in Sandpoint, Idaho – the nestled-in-the-mountains village that is also the retailer’s corporate home.
Not only did the retailer have to show what it’s really made of in the very market that inspires its brand message, but it also had to fast-track the project – and in a historic building, which usually presents the very hurdles that make “fast-track” impossible.
The Romanesque, 100-year-old W.A. Bernd building is listed on the register of historic buildings. But it needed a complete interior gut for the 9300-square-foot retail and hospitality space. (A Coldwater Creek wine bar makes up the “hospitality” component.)
It required structural shoring, new building systems, an elevator and an upgrade of the HVAC, electrical and plumbing throughout the building. Plus, the finished project needed to represent the Pacific Northwest authenticity that exemplifies the Coldwater Creek brand image. And all that needed to be done in less than 30 weeks.
The store, on the ground level with the wine bar upstairs, is a cornucopia of the stone, iron and natural materials and visual propping that denote the territory. A stairway corridor, doubling as an art gallery, boasts custom wrought iron handrails.
“The entire environment is warm, inviting and naturally authentic,” says Thom Morbitzer, design director for Cowan + Associates (Worthington, Ohio), the project’s architecture and design firm, “showcasing the building’s original brick and Douglas fir character.”
The color palette includes warm and natural tones. The flooring is of custom-milled hardwood, carpet, area rugs and ceramic tile in the restrooms. Natural materials sourced from the Pacific Northwest include the fir and Tamarack timber, river stone and slate. Reclaimed wrought iron pieces are used throughout the environment, along with metal, wood and leather.
A new custom wood storefront system built into the restored building façade features the signature Coldwater Creek eyebrow and signage. A secondary front entry leading into the stairway corridor and art gallery is set adjacent to the main entryway.
An authentic trapper’s canoe is suspended over the entrance to the wine bar, which also features a hardwood rolling barn door and wood framing. Two lounge areas in the bar are divided by a four-sided wood-burning stacked-stone fireplace with built-in leather benches. A chimney penetrates a skylight that allows ambient light into the space. Candle sconces are set into the brick wall.
“It’s an area known for its hiking, biking and boating during the day,” says Cowan’s Morbitzer, “and the warm hospitality of its shops and cafés in the evening. We think this store puts all the elements into play.”
Client: Coldwater Creek Inc., Sandpoint, Idaho – Lauren Scherer, divisional vp, retail design and architecture; Rob Herrera, senior manager, retail design and architecture; Elena Petrocco, divisional vp, visual design and merchandising; Cece McClintick, director, visual design and merchandising; Carl Hatchett, manager, visual design and merchandising; Allen Sandish, divisional vp, retail construction and facilities
Design: Cowan + Associates Inc., Worthington, Ohio – Steven Garand, lead design architect; Thomas Morbitzer, lead store designer; David Mullen, James Knochel, lead engineers
General Contractor: Lydig Construction, Spokane, Wash.
Outside Consultants: Armour Unsderfer Engineering, Bellevue, Wash. (structural engineering); All West Engineers, Spokane, Wash. (structural shoring); DCI Engineers, Spokane, Wash. (civil engineering)
Fixtures/ Millwork: Great Lakes Woodworking, Detroit
Fixtures: Mark White, Portland, Maine
Metalwork: Intermountain Fabricators, Spokane, Wash.
Woodwork: Barush Woodworking, Sandpoint, Idaho
Lighting: Mid-West Wholesale Lighting Corp., Los Angeles
Chandeliers: Ace Wrought Iron, Thorndike, Maine
Tile Flooring: Dal-Tile, Dallas
Wood Flooring: Woodland Lumber Co., Sandpoint, Idaho
Floor Essence, Sandpoint, Idaho
River Rock: North Idaho Stone, Sandpoint, Idaho
Water Feature: Water Wonders, Santa Maria, Calif.
Photography: Coldwater Creek Photography Studio, Sandpoint, Idaho