Google’s first retail space brings alive AR and intuitive design by Suchi Reddy

Unexpected connections and a seamless interface with technology that prioritises well-being manifest in the design of this retail store in New York by Suchi Reddy-led Reddymade.

by Zohra KhanPublished on : Jul 10, 2021

New York-based Reddymade studio led by architect Suchi Reddy has designed the first physical retail space for Google in the Chelsea neighbourhood of the city. Located on the corner of 15th Street and Ninth Avenue, the project occupies the ground floor of the tech company’s NYC headquarters, presenting itself as a one stop destination offering intuitive, personalised experiences of both online and offline shopping.

The store is located on the corner of 15th Street and Ninth Avenue in the Chelsea neighbourhood | Reddymade | New York | STIRworld
The store is located on the corner of 15th Street and Ninth Avenue in the Chelsea neighbourhood Image: Paul Warchol, Courtesy of Google

For this retail design, Reddy has incorporated the principles of Neuroaesthetics - an emerging discipline in the field of aesthetics that uses neuroscience to understand how we experience beauty in different creative fields. Her approach to the project is drawn from the elements of a former exhibition titled ‘A Space For Being’ that she worked on with Ivy Ross (VP of design, UX and research, Google Hardware) during Salone del Mobile 2019 in Milan. Following the belief that form follows feeling and that good design if calibrated carefully, positively influences wellbeing and creativity, the two have created ‘a playful and pragmatic expression of this motto with, bringing a unique focus to the interplay of good design with human perception’.

Discovery Boxes powered by AR line along the façade | Reddymade | New York | STIRworld
Discovery Boxes powered by AR line along the façade Image: Paul Warchol, Courtesy of Google

The glazed façade of the store overlooks the entrance of the famous Chelsea Market located on the opposite end. Various ‘discovery boxes’ are lined along the façade as illuminated windows that reveal Google products. A nod to New York’s window-shopping traditions, the design of these boxes uses AR that allow people to interact with the products as they pass by the storefront.

Imagination Space | Reddymade | New York | STIRworld
Imagination Space Image: Paul Warchol, Courtesy of Google

At the entrance sits a semi-circular node of extruded glass tubing suspended between the floor and the ceiling. Described as the ‘Imagination Space’ of store, the structure encases various screens where customers can interact with Google’s products and technologies. Further into the space, fluid forms, neutral tones, and warm lighting compose the design language. As per Reddymade Studio, the idea was to ‘re-awaken visitors to the childlike wonder found in the technology and digital innovation on display’.

Black metal lines twist their way through the space
Black metal lines twist their way through the space Image: Paul Warchol, Courtesy of Google
Seating within the store | Reddymade | New York | STIRworld
Seating within the store Image: Paul Warchol, Courtesy of Google

Running throughout the space are thin black metal lines in a flowing patterned path that trigger customers’ attention to the displayed products. Twisting its way through the room, the sleek form introduces ‘the intuitive whimsy of unexpected connections and free-from play while defining spaces for living’. A support desk at the centre of the store sports a halo with a message “Here to Help” recurring on a circular ringed profile. Beyond the display areas, a dedicated seating space populated by poufs and benches are created for customers seeking product assistance.

Warm and tactile surfaces reveal the space | Reddymade | New York | STIRworld
Warm and tactile surfaces reveal the space Image: Paul Warchol, Courtesy of Google
Cork furniture and wooden panelling compose the furnishing | Reddymade | New York | STIRworld
Cork furniture and wooden panelling compose the furnishing Image: Paul Warchol, Courtesy of Google

Throughout the store, soft and tactile surfaces are created by cork furniture and wooden panelling. “Reddymade’s design puts the visitor at ease, welcoming those seeking help alongside those pursuing their curiosity,” states an official statement released on behalf of the studio. The Google store officially opened to the public on June 17, 2021.

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