In business since 1936, Ray-Ban® is an Italian-American luxury sunglasses and prescription eyeglasses brand. Well-known for their Wayfarer and aviator-style glasses, their frames are beloved around the globe. Worldwide, there are 90 Ray-Ban® stores, including 28 in the U.S. alone—one of which is the one we got to build.
The opportunity arose for TJ Hale to partner with the Luxottica Group and architectural firm CallisonRTKL. Together, we worked on a ground-up design and development project for a flagship Ray-Ban® store in SoHo, a popular neighborhood in Lower Manhattan, New York City.
In order to best showcase the Ray-Ban® product, TJ Hale came together with Luxottica and Callison to collaborate on the fixtures and millwork needed for the store. To do so, the project began with a series of hand sketches, material palletes, and design intent that developed into a preliminary rendering of the space.
After the general appearance, functionality, and flow of the space was finalize, TJ Hale produced the preliminary engineered drawings. We then drilled deeper into the functionality, lighting, and construction methods needed to produce a complete fixture and millwork package to display the product.
The finished design incorporated powder-coated, architectural steel wall screens with white oak veneer panels to create a decorative wall overlooking a cellar atrium. Complete with stadium seating, this area was to allow customers to take a pause from the hustle and bustle on the street. Anchoring perimeter fixtures on a historic stone foundation and brick walls called for creativity with the use of standoffs, shims, and scribe materials to ensure plumb and level fixtures.
Delivery and installation carried its own set of hurdles. This included short delivery and unload schedules on a cobblestone street and a single storefront entrance shared by all of the trades. Moreover, all of the hammer drill work was limited to specific times of day as per landlord agreements and out of respect to the adjacent tenants.
This project was coordinated with the U.S. and Italian-based Luxottica teams, both of which had a very specific design and lighting requirements to showcase the history of the brand and highlight the newest Ray-Ban product offerings.
The feel of the space is open and expansive; however, while under construction with numerous trades, their materials, scaffolding, and ladders, it required strong communication and planning.
To ensure the store was executed to the Ray-Ban®’s vision, TJ Hale worked through multiple design iterations, prototyped the new fixtures, and installed them on-site to verify the proper function, feel, and lighting.
Our team knew the game plan before arriving, thanks to regular meetings with the general contractor and other trades. Upon installation of the architectural elements, we also protected these areas with wood and cardboard barriers to prevent damage.
Overall, the key to this project’s success was the open collaboration with Luxottica, Callison, and all other parties involved in its creation and construction.