In 2018, the signature German shoemaker Birkenstock opened their first stand-alone store in the U.S., designed by TPG Architecture. As part of their desire to have more brick-and-mortar locations throughout the country, they decided to open another store along the Abbot Kinney Boulevard in Venice, California. Among the boho-beach boutiques and other internationally recognized retailers, TPG designed an outpost for Birkenstock that reflects the Venice Beach lifestyle and honors the cherished footwear company through incorporating similar brand elements that were used in the New York flagship.
The store and overall design concept is based on the century-old bungalows that are scattered throughout the eclectic neighborhood. To celebrate the existing structure, concrete towers on the façade exterior were removed, exposing the original siding panels and enhancing the overall street presence. Inside, the welcome area reflects the décor of a “California-Cool” inspired home with colorful rugs and soft lighting. Guests are presented with merchandise placed on custom-made wooden tables and inside shadow boxes along the walls. Weathered, white wood panels reminiscent of the boardwalk line the walls, and the exposed beams above further echo the prominent skate and surf culture in the area.
Past the cash wrap area, a set of double doors lead guests to an outdoor patio. Thanks to the year-round warm weather, the space functions as a lounge for guests and provides an area for the store to host exclusive events. Two prominent art pieces are incorporated into the space – a colorful mural by local artist Andy Davis enhances the patio, and hanging from the ceiling, craftsman Drew Baggett created a surfboard made of cork that cleverly calls out to the iconic material of the Birkenstock sandals.