TV can really suck you in, and no one knows that better than HBO. So the premium cable channel has brought that concept to life by making the souvenir shop at its New York headquarters resemble an oversized TV set.
“We wanted the shop to offer a 3-D experience that lures shoppers in with specially edited HBO content that can’t be seen anywhere else, along with exclusive merchandise that’s tied to the company’s shows,” says Lance Boge, principal, design director with the New York office of Gensler. The firm designed the space with Imaginary Forces, a branding consultant with offices in New York and Hollywood, Calif.
The store’s TV-like appearance is most evident at its all-glass facade, which is dominated by a 10-by-5-foot flat-panel display showing excerpts from HBO shows. Just inside the entrance, that front screen is echoed by three back-to-back freestanding glass walls with TV screens covering roughly a third of their front-facing sides, and merchandise shelved on their back sides.
The store’s perimeter walls are matte glass, back-painted in off-white, which allows them to serve as a neutral canvas for an LED lighting system that washes the space in an ever-changing variety of hues. Each color is tied to the images running on the TV screens – pink for “Sex and the City,” for example, and a steely blue/gray for “The Sopranos.”
The walls also house open glass shelves displaying merchandise, along with slotted vitrines whose back panels consist of an LED strip with a relatively wide bulb pattern. The strip displays ambient graphics, such as the HBO logo and program titles. “It’s more of a mood-setter, rather than a story-teller,” notes Boge. Glass panels can be slid into the vitrines’ front panels to give the merchandise displayed there a museum-like quality (while also helping to prevent theft).
The back of the L-shaped space features 14-foot ceilings, with images of HBO shows projected onto the upper half of both side walls. This area also houses the cashwrap, which is located behind a counter and designed to mimic the appearance of the ticket booth at a movie theater.
“All these elements work together to create an environment that’s a bold and unique extension of the HBO brand,” says Boge. v
Client: Home Box Office Inc., New York
Design: Gensler, New York; Imaginary Forces, New York and Hollywood, Calif.
Audio/Visual: Daktronics Inc., Brookings, S.D.
Fixtures/Mannequins/Forms/Props and Decoratives: Feature Factory, Toronto
Lighting: Color Kinetics Inc., Boston; Winona Lighting, Winona, Minn.; Lutron Electronics Inc., Coopersburg, Pa.
Signage/Graphics: Beyond Signs, Woodside, N.Y.
Wallcoverings and Materials: Natali Glass Inc., Deer Park, N.Y.
Photography: Andrew Bordwin, Andrew Bordwin Studio Inc., New York