The Webster’s latest flagship store in Los Angeles is a new 11,000 square feet ground-up retail development designed by Adjaye Associates. It is adjacent to the historic Los Angeles Beverly Center. Juxtaposed beneath the monolithic eight-story structure, The Webster elegantly asserts itself as a sculptural and experiential counterpoint to the Beverly Center’s retail experience. The cantilevered concrete façade references and reimagines the brutalist shell of the original existing building and is injected with a pink dye—an ode to the luminosity of California, where the Pacific light naturally amplifies saturated colors.
Ph. Laurian Ghinitoiu
Encompassing square footage that was originally allocated for interior retail, The Webster establishes a new public space at the intersection of San Vincente and Beverly Boulevards. Featuring a digital art wall and a sculptural water fountain, the new public space cultivates an unexpected urban oasis. Visible only from the underside of the cantilever, the digital art wall spans its surface area to form a column less portico with banquette seating. Both out of deference to and in defiance of Hollywood’s amplified digital culture, the art wall is intentionally low resolution at 1472 pixels wide and 20 pixels tall; it is a sculptural canvas that will debut bespoke art pieces commissioned by The Webster.
At the main entry, a panoramic window—comprised of three sheets of curved glass—creates an angular visual portal, dissolving the boundary between the public space and the retail inside. Conceived as a landscape of forms for display and inhabitation, the color and material palette of The Webster’s exterior identity continue into the interior.
Ground Floor: 01. Fountain / 02. Public Bench / 03. Jewelry Display / 04. Shoe Display / 05. Home – Beauty Display / 06. Point of Sale / 07. Changing Room / 08. Fitting Room / 09. Banquette / 10. Valet Entry / 11. Moveable Storage Racks / 12. Back of House / 13. Bathroom / 14. Kitchenette / 15. Office / 16. Storage Closet / 17. IT Room / 18. Mechanical Room / 19. Janitor’s Closet
Oscillating between varying textures and types of concrete, the interior is akin to a sculptural field punctuated by cast-in-place concrete columns and teardrop-shaped display plinths, creating a series of vignettes for the curated merchandise on display. The ground concrete floor features black cherry marble fragments. Bronze framed mirrors and display racks line the perimeter. These interior finishes balance an appreciation for the sculptural beauty of the store’s sinuous form without detracting from the curated products on display. The upper walls of the fitting rooms are softened with vintage 1950s wallpaper, sourced from the client’s personal collection.
Ph. Dror Baldinger
Transcending the now dated transactional and commercial experience of most brick and mortar retail, The Webster offers a destination and experience not only for its clients but for the city of Los Angeles.
DATE: 2019 / LOCATION: Los Angeles, United States / AREA: 11,000 SF (built) / PROGRAM: store / STATUS: built / DESIGN ARCHITECT: Adjaye Associates / ARCHITECT OF RECORD: Neumann/Smith Architecture / GENERAL CONTRACTOR: Jacobsen Swinerton Joint Venture / CONSULTANTS: Mollenhauer Group (Civil Engineer), Grissim Metz Andriese Associates (Landscape Architect), Ludwig Structural (Engineer of Record), Guy Nordenson Associates (Design Engineer), E & S Construction Engineers (Mechanical/Plumbing Engineers), Code Consultants Inc. (Fire Suppression & Fire Alarm), Brian Orter Lighting Design (Lighting Consultant), Swanson Rink (Electrical Engineer), Reg Hough Associates (Concrete Consultant), Thornton Tomasetti (Facade Consultant), Waterline Studios Inc. (Water Feature Consultant), Standard Vision (Technology Consultant) / CLIENT: Taubman Company – The Webster / PHOTOS: Laurian Ghinitoiu, Dror Baldinger