When the sportswear brand Patagonia approached the New York design firm MNA, they wanted to give back and connect with the community. The building, located on West 14th Street, is in the heart of the Meatpacking District and was built in 1887. However, the retail space was essentially a white box. "They loved the building, but I think they were a little disappointed with the space," said designer Andrew Lee.
MNA's design combines locally sourced fixtures and reclaimed materials to evoke the rich history of the neighborhood. Recycled brick was used on several walls, and the floor is covered with locally reclaimed heart pine.
The ceiling joists were salvaged from warehouses standing along the nearby High Line. "We used things other stores are taking out," said Lee. "It's driving an environmental message that's integral to the brand."
Towards the rear of the store, the ceilings are covered with reclaimed tin, and all of the glazed windows were custom-manufactured on site. Lee said they worked with vendors to find the local materials to minimize the embedded energy costs of shipping as much as possible.
To complement the warehouse-like feel of the space, industrial LED lighting is used in the main space, and fixtures made by a Brooklyn-based company illuminate the fitting rooms.
One item that isn't recycled is the meat rail, which was custom made for the store and serves as an adaptable display rack. "We wanted to show what would have been in the space," said Lee. The hooks and trolleys that could serve to hoist up carcasses are now hangers for coats and other gear.
A final eco-friendly touch is the water fountain. In NYC, stores are required to have a water for employees, but Patagonia placed theirs in a location where patrons can use it also Lee explained. "That way, customers can fill up their water bottles."