NEWS & GOURMET, LOCATED out of the family-owned beach resort The Breakers (Palm Beach, Fla.), was a hub for guests out of necessity, and now, it’s one for luxury. “Nothing had been done for probably 20 or 30 years,” says Michael Neumann, Founding Principal, Neumann & Rudy (New York). His team set its sights on making News & Gourmet not just a modern and welcoming retail experience, but to leverage what makes The Breakers a destination resort and apply it to make the shop a part of the vacation experience.
Product became paramount to the design’s success, and a major component was removing some of the large, mahogany columns. “We encouraged them to get rid of four columns,” says Neumann. “And they felt the payback was worth it.”
Lightening the palette of materials, opening up the entrance, and putting the hotel’s beautiful landscaping on display with large front windows all made for a welcoming and winning design. Neumann says, “We opened corners so you could fully see the product, we internally lit the remaining columns so that they became light fixtures in a sense and drew your eye to the product.”
Neumann’s favorite aspect to the whole project is the café. “We did that dramatically long counter, and I think it came out so beautifully,” he says. “It looks modern and clean, but still [like a] resort. I think it functions well, and it integrates with the rest of the store.”
“This was a wonderful, collaborative effort that we all made,” he adds. “The Breakers were very open to new ideas, but they were also very clear about what needs they had. As a team, we just worked well [together], and that’s a key, crucial thing to any good project.”
Barry Baughman, Manager of Design, at The Wendy’s Co., and a 2020 competition judge, noted the locality of the design. “This store went from selling stuff to selling an experience,” he says. “It also matches the vernacular of the area – Palm Beach.”
Correction: Due to an editorial error, the submitting company’s name was incorrectly spelled twice in the printed article in VMSD‘s September 2020 issue. It should be spelled Neumann & Rudy.
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