Hennes & Mauritz (H&M) has opened its biggest store to date, in Manhattan’s 589 Fifth Avenue at 48th Street, an existing 1950s vintage office building that was re-clad with an aluminum and glass curtain wall around 1990. GMS served as structural engineer for the 57,000 sf retail store (the size of a football field).
Framing and reinforcing was designed to accommodate the removal of two interior columns between the basement and fourth floor. The removal of the western portion of five floors required the reinforcement of perimeter columns for this new atrium opening and revised structural framing for the new façade. The structure was redesigned to support three new elevators (two passenger, one freight), new pairs of escalators serving basement through fourth floors, and miscellaneous HVAC floor penetrations.
Prior to H&M, GMS provided façade consulting services to the developer for the study of alternate design schemes for a new retail storefront. These designs included the removal of existing cladding at the lower three floors of the building along both the Fifth Avenue and the 48th Street elevations. A portion of the ground floor storefront at the building main lobby entrance on 48th Street would remain intact. The existing cladding was to be replaced with new custom designed assemblies and custom entrances featuring large panels of glass captured between metal clad columns and spandrels.
The store’s five-floor atrium features a 26’ x 20’ LED visual entertainment that flashes H&M’s chic fashion films and photos. The atrium incorporates elaborate interiors with green-and-white marble tiles, floor-to-ceiling mirrors visible throughout the shopping area, and herringbone woodwork as permanent fixtures. Additional accents include leather furniture, chandeliers and tufted-fabric walls in the fitting rooms.
To celebrate the flagship store opening, the Swedish retailer collaborated with legendary artist Jeff Koons, on what may be this season’s “it” bag, a specially designed, limited-edition leather handbag featuring the Balloon Dog, one of the artist’s most iconic works. The Balloon Dog is also prominently featured on the exterior of the new 5-story storefront.
GMS has previously collaborated with Jeff Koons on other installations. Click here to read more.