Repurposed objects have always played an important role in Timberland’s desire to connect with the communities in which its stores are located. And the treasures to incorporate at Timberland’s new 2000-square-foot site in New York’s SoHo were plentiful indeed. Located on Broadway between Grand and Broome streets, the space is another embodiment of the Timberland brand and its well-known core values – a commitment to green design and social responsibility.
In SoHo, Keith Taylor, manager of store environments, discovered a wooden shoe stool with a brass ruling device in an antique shop on Houston Street. Remnants of the past were also uncovered when seven layers of old drywall, slat wall and peg board were stripped away, exposing the original brick and a bit of history: The building was an ice skate store in 1861, and then a ladies’ jewelry manufacturing facility. Taylor acquired antique skates and suitcases from the same local shop on Houston Street for his visual program. Elsewhere in the store, a small jewelry case is strategically positioned to display accessories. A coffee table from a salvage yard in Portland, Maine, was placed in a seating area and the cast iron legs from an old factory worktable were contemporized with a steel top to create a presentation table.
Theresa Palermo, Timberland’s senior director, North America marketing, says the goal was to recapture what was historic about SoHo, from graffiti-embellished brick walls to bustling streets and cast iron architecture. Since SoHo comprises a six-by-six grid of streets, from Crosby Street and West Broadway to Houston and Canal, Timberland added a “6 x 6” modular photo montage to the store window, reflective of the neighborhood’s street culture.
Additionally, a “GREENYC” map was customized out of recyclable, hot rolled steel to display parks and green areas in New York. More hot rolled steel is used throughout the space, most notably in a sliding door system behind the boot bar and cashwrap, where key styles of footwear inventory are housed for quick accessibility. It’s an authentic industrial material that provides both an old and contemporary aesthetic.
All wood components in the space are reclaimed or FSC-certified. The flooring planks were repurposed from buildings and barns throughout Pennsylvania and the cashwraps are clad with leftover wood from the fixture manufacturing process. Wall panels were constructed of old Vermont snow fences that were sanded smooth, still revealing the character and weathering of the wood. The New England-inspired architecture features a series of recycled wooden trestle beams suspended from the ceiling, each held by turnbuckles and rods, and gliding on ceiling mounted tracks, allowing them to be repositioned at will for a fresh look. The ceiling is constructed with 100 percent reclaimed wood joists and hand-forged connector points. Even dressing room curtains are made with recycled scrap leather.
Additional green design elements include energy-efficient lighting, reclaimed surface treatments and low-VOC paints and sealants. Ecotech flooring is created from 70 percent post-industrial recycled material that has been ground up to create stone.
Timberland’s commitment to the environment begins with its product offerings (with a range of products using linings made from recycled materials and, for fall 2009, soles made with GreenRubber; only environmentally certified tanneries are used in production). So the product and brand step forward with a reduced imprint on the environment as the company strives to be carbon neutral by 2010. The SoHo store stands as a symbol of the company’s drive not only to do well, but also to do good.
Timberland, Stratham, N.H.: Keith Taylor, manager of store environment ;John Holmes, senior manager of store construction; Al Buell, project manager; Steve Richard, senior graphic designer; Theresa Palermo, senior director North America marketing
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Props and Decoratives
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Blair Sign, Altoona, Pa.
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