As retail stores are closing their doors, design companies begin to develop the potential of the vacant spaces as artistic studios, hub for community engagements and the like. The Retail Design Collaborative and its sister company Studio Eleven recently undertook a project to utilize one such space in Long Beach, California.
Previously a Nordstrom Rack, the space is 34,100 square feet in total. The two architectural firms decided it was important for people to connect and hang out, so they transformed the industrial open-concept loft into a hub for community engagement. While the "primary gathering spaces are laid out near the windows so they face the streets," there are smaller and slightly more secluded offices that are meant to house private meetings.
In addition, Retail Design Collaborative and Studio Eleven were ecologically conscious in their design as they installed mechanisms for natural ventilation, lighting controls and low water consumption.