Retail Facade Transformation
Highland Park, IL
This mixed-use building involved extensive renovations to transform a former Borders bookstore to create a dynamic, flexible façade unifying the expansive streetscape for multiple retailers through a highly transparent design solution.
Originally constructed as four distinct 1- and 2-story buildings dating from the 1920’s, our goal and ultimate approach focused on transforming the façade to attract a variety of smaller retailers. The composition was organized around the existing historic divisions between buildings and emphasized by a new center canopy-covered entrance element flanked by a punched opening volume and a curtain wall of regular rhythms.
Overall, the composition is grounded by its masonry mass but then creates movement through its snaking 2-story stone band. The simple material palette, textures, and detailing are subdued in order to provide the proper framework to effectively showcase each retailer.