German shoemaker Birkenstock has opened its second company-owned retail store in the U.S, located in Venice Beach, California. The store takes its place on Abbot Kinney Boulevard along the famous mile-long strip known for eclectic retail boutiques, restaurants and galleries. TPG Architecture worked with the Birkenstock team to design a space that honours the brand and its new neighbourhood.
The store reflects the rich history of the brand and incorporates core materials including cork and leather to create a light, bright and naturally comfortable space. Abbot Kinney Boulevard has a vibe unlike any other retail corridor in the U.S. due to its unique blend of stores and restaurants married with the independent artistic spirit and beach culture that makes Venice Beach so special. The new Venice Beach location gives the German heritage health-and-wellness brand a new home to serve its passionate and growing customer base in the Los Angeles area.
The welcome area reflects the décor of a “California-Cool” inspired home with colorful rugs and soft lighting. Inside the store, guests enjoy the full Birkenstock collection for women, men and kids, including shoes, boots, socks, belts and the skin care line on custom-made wooden tables and inside shadow boxes along the walls. Weathered, 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, guests are invited outside to an alfresco 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 colourful mural by California artist Andy Davis, and sculptures of iconic Birkenstock styles made by artist Inga Guzyte of recycled skateboard decks.
The opening of the Venice Beach store marks the 50th Birkenstock owned-store globally and the second in the United States.