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View inside Road to Awe NYC store

RtA NYC store by Dan Brunn features broken crystal and red fitting rooms

Pieces of broken crystal fill a display case that runs the length of this Manhattan boutique, completed by Los Angeles-based architect Dan Brunn for streetwear brand Road to Awe.

The store on Mercer Street in SoHo is both the third location for Road to Awe, also known as RtA, and the third designed by Dan Brunn Architecture.

Display case filled with broken Baccarat crsytal
Road to Awe's third store by Dan Brunn is divided by a central display

Following outposts in West Hollywood and Las Vegas, the new 2,152-square-foot (200-square-metre) space occupies the ground floor of a historic landmarked building.

"Honoring the more industrial nature of its surroundings, RtA Soho takes on a streamlined and contemporary approach with a raw edge directly opposing the more playful and ostentatious style of the Vegas location and serene nature of its West Coast counterpart," said Brunn's studio.

Broken crystal pieces
The row of vitrines is filled with pieces of broken Baccarat crystal

The open floor plan is divided along the centre by a line of mirrored chrome vitrines.

Created in collaboration with crystal brand Baccarat, the display contains 2,000 pounds (907 kilograms) of broken crystal that would have otherwise been discarded.

Clothes hung from suspended steel beams
Clothing is hung from suspended steel beams

Each case has an angled top to create a faceted surface, while a red glow surrounds the base of the structure.

The crystal pieces are also back-lit, "casting rays of light throughout the store like a reverse disco ball" according to the brand.

Entirely red fitting room area
At the rear, a fitting room area is entirely red and illuminated with neon strips

Menswear and womenswear are displayed either side of this central axis, hung from floating horizontal blackened steel beams that help to divide the space.

Brunn retained the original wooden flooring, but painted it in a gradient that blends from white to black towards the rear of the store.

At the back is an entirely red area that provides access to the fitting rooms.

A velvet-covered seating module runs down the middle of this space, flanked by repeated arches that puncture the side walls and are outlined by neon lights.

Fitting room with gold leaf filling brickwork gap
Areas of missing brick in the fitting rooms are lined with gold leaf

Neon strips also traverse horizontally across the ceiling, while an LED display on the back wall plays RtA's merchandising videos and fashion shows.

Inside the fitting rooms, "valleys" in the existing brick wall "were sporadically filled with gold leaf paint employing the Japanese kintsugi method of embracing the beauty in imperfection", said the studio.

RtA NYC store from Mercer Street
The RtA NYC store is located in a historic building on Mercer Street

Brunn's first store for RtA opened on Melrose Avenue in 2017, followed by his boutique at the Wynn resort in Las Vegas in 2019.

The architect has also renovated a Frank Gehry-designed house for an illustrator and designed a long slender home spanning a brook for himself.

The photography is by Brandon Shigeta.

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