Supreme's Los Angeles flagship features its first fully floating skate bowl
A team of architects and designers has mixed retail with a skateboard facility for clothing brand Supreme's Los Angeles flagship store, sited in the building that was once home to the iconic record store Tower Records.
The overall design of the 8,500-square-foot (790-square-metre) store was carried out through a collaboration of London interiors studios Brinkworth and The Wilson Brothers – and New York architect Neil Logan, with local studio RADAR serving as executive architect.
Supreme, a Manhattan streetwear brand catering to skaters, collaborated with Steve Badgett of SIMPARCH, a New Mexico collaborative, for a fully floating skate bowl.
SIMPARCH previously constructed four skate bowls for Supreme, including a small peanut-shaped skate bowl in the previous Los Angeles store in 2004.
"We had a much bigger area to work with at this location, so the design process with Supreme's circle of experienced pool skaters took more time to nail down the final form," Badgett told Dezeen.
The clover-leafed sculpted wooden skate bowl has three depths and a pale surface bordered by a darker rim.
"The previous four bowls we built for Supreme were all considerable challenges but this one was a whole different animal with its greater size and structural complexity," Badgett said.
"Our engineer, Paul Endres, figured out how to eliminate columns anywhere near the bowl so it hung from the deck structure. He was able to do that without compromising the lean, fluid, aesthetic we wanted, and it allows the bowl's organic form to be seen unimpeded," he continued.
Located in the site of the former Tower Record's West Coast store, the one-storey white box store sports a blocky red logo on the renovated billboard fascia.
"It was such an honour to take loving care of the historic Tower Records structure while literally raising the roof to accommodate the huge levitating skate bowl," said Brinkworth founder Adam Brinkworth.
"The site has gone from the world's largest record store to the world's largest Supreme."
Storefront windows between triangular columns wrap the street corner, turning the sales floor into a display case.
Inside, steel trusses raise the original roof and open the space with skylights for an illuminated interior. Light bounces off the elevated, wooden bottom of the skate bowl, which hovers on the far side of the store.
A metal wall was installed around the bowl to produce blurry reflection of the skaters. The wall also features a jagged black-hole art piece by Nate Lowman.
On the main floor, clothing racks and product displays wrap around two walls. Sandstone benches were placed on the polished concrete flooring to reference a LA skatespot called the Santa Monica Sand Gaps.
The reserved white and grey material palette defers to art installations for colour and texture. A full-size F1 car by Mark Gonzales was parked in the centre of the room, and a colourful grim reaper mural by Josh Smith is splayed across a wall.
The skate-in-the-store concept has become a signature for Supreme, who works with other architects to install the feature in locations across the country – such as the stilted platform in the Brooklyn store designed by Neil Logan Architect and SIMPARCH's elevated reverberating bowl in the renovated San Francisco store.
In advance of the new opening, the Fairfax Avenue location in LA closed earlier this month after 19 years in business.
The photography is by Blaine Davis.
Executive architect: RADAR
Architecture: Brinkworth, The Wilson Brothers, Neil Logan
Design: Steve Badgett of SIMPARCH
Engineering: Paul Endres
Shell and core engineering: Murphy Burr Curry, Inc, Brandow & Johnston, and Rex
Fabrication: Steve Badget, Chris Vorhees, Clay Mahn
Computer modelling: Peter Eng
Lighting design: Wolcott / Scott Johnson