Harley-Davidson of New York City is a unique branded retail environment that reinvents the motorcycle dealership as a social space for exploration, product customization, and community building.
The project brief challenged us to create a showroom that would take advantage of its Downtown location to attract a wide range of local and international visitors.
Our approach was to design an open, interactive environment highlighting the experience of craftsmanship, community, legacy and freedom to attract a younger, sophisticated and more diverse customer base to the brand.
Challenges included a footprint less than one fifth the size of a typical dealership, with the majority of the retail space located below grade.
This meant developing a shopping experience which honored Harley-Davidson culture, while creating opportunities for physical and virtual product interaction, exploration, socializing, and connection to the spaces of the city and beyond.
The focal point of the multilevel space is a suspended display and bike lift, which ferries motorcycles from the below-ground showroom and lounge up to the street level for customer delivery.
An interactive 3-D Bike Builder lets shoppers customize an infinite variety of life-size bikes while viewing results in real time on a large projection screen.
The design sensibility of the store strives towards the creation of an authentically urban space that references the neighborhood’s history as a manufacturing center as well as the high tech dynamism of the contemporary city.
The material palette for the space is culled from sources with purposeful associations to the brand essence: bike assembly in a factory/shop environment; customization in an upscale atelier; and conversation and camaraderie in a clubhouse setting.
The mix of concrete, wood, leather, neon and steel was chosen for its power to evoke, in a multisensory way, a complex mix of craftsmanship, utility and luxury.
The store takes advantage of the high profile Broadway location with an open glass facade. A large interactive digital wall and coffee bar at the front of the store are an invitation to the constant flow of foot traffic and tour buses outside.