Skylab has designed the new flagship store and headquarters for noted Japanese brand Snow Peak in Portland, Oregon, set to open later this year. The 15,000 sf multi-function venue (store, restaurant, and office) is crafted around the company's slogan, "Let's dwell outdoors, together."
The design is based upon three driving principles: enter the outdoors and leave the city behind, build a new language both deeply Japanese and of the Pacific Northwest, and provide strong community-building experiences. Drawing on these principles, a diverse program of retail, showroom, office space, event space, restaurant (Takibi, led by Michelin-recognized chef Alex Kim with cocktail guru Jim Meehan), and outdoor spaces were designed to provide ample moments to gather together around food, art, home, and nature-the core values of the Snow Peak brand.
Transforming an existing, nondescript, four-story 1980s-era building in Northwest Portland, Snow Peak occupies 14,725 square-feet of the first two levels, with retail on the first floor and Snow Peak's USA headquarters on the second floor. One element of the existing building that proved to be a beneficial design element is that the building is sunken along NW 23rd with a glass facade that wraps around to the parking lot. The design takes advantage of the connection on the east parking lot side, by expanding the conventional retail space into the outdoors with covered demonstration space.
Upon entry, visitors will be greeted with a double-height, hand-painted mural of the Snow Peak founder, Yukio Yamai. Conjuring an earthy and woodsy atmosphere, materials such as dark stone, wood flooring, hand-troweled concrete, wood paneling, and custom wall coverings were chosen for the first level. Century-old Douglas fir beams were milled and stacked into a unique wall retail fixture system in a contemporary, American-inspired nod to traditional Japanese wood building methods. Inspired by Snow Peak's effect of bringing people together around fire, the ground floor will also feature a restaurant and bar. The restaurant will have indoor dining as well as seating in its fully covered outdoor patio space. The 1,000-square-foot patio will include an open, multi-purpose space, perfect for gathering around fire pits with camp chairs. The central circulation core is lined with historic Snow Peak imagery and lit from above with an airy lantern-like fabric installation, visitors can ascend into the second level event space and showroom, filled with light to evoke closeness to the sky.
Images: Courtesy of Skylab