Sanjay Gangal is the President of IBSystems, the parent company of AECCafe.com, MCADCafe, EDACafe.Com, GISCafe.Com, and ShareCG.Com.
LF USA Womens Apparel Group in New York by Spacesmith
February 1st, 2014 by Sanjay Gangal
Article source: Spacesmith
Since 2011, Spacesmith has been working with Li & Fung, a Hong Kong-based multinational company that is the recognized leader in the design, sourcing, and distribution of clothing and accessories for prominent retailers. This project consolidates all the LF USA women’s apparel brands – whose offices had been scattered around New York’s garment district – onto a single 100,000 SF floor of the Empire State Building.
Spacesmith worked closely with B & Co., the Hong Kong-based design firm responsible for the concept development and planning for all Li & Fung projects. The program includes over 25 showrooms, multiple designer work areas, a fabric library, a pattern making room, model fitting rooms, offices, lounges, a large multi-function media room, and a state-of-the-art telepresence room that virtually brings overseas colleagues to the same conference table.
The client requested an industrial aesthetic to reflect the day-to-day activities of garment production, so the design is both durable and refined. The concrete floors have been hand-troweled, custom millwork retains its natural wood finish, and Edison bulbs help illuminate the space. Pipes, ducts, and brickwork were left exposed to enhance the high ceilings and loft-like atmosphere. The technology and sleek furnishings of the media room are juxtaposed by the raw finish of a freestanding concrete column. A neutral color palette offers a tranquil setting for employees and allows the clothing and products to stand out.
Upon entering the double-height reception area, visitors can view the latest runway fashions generated by LF USA on a 12-foot video screen wall. Guests proceed to the galleria of showrooms, which are framed by a smooth curved wall finished in hand-applied DFB Vitruv concrete veneer. These spaces are used to showcase the latest fashions from Li & Fung’s representative fashion houses.
The project adheres to both LEED and the new stringent sustainability standards of the Empire State Building. In order to create the best indoor environment, efficient mechanical and temperature control systems have been integrated, and low VOC finishes, paints and adhesives were used. Low flow plumbing fixtures and Energy Star rated appliances are specified throughout. Day lighting sensors automatically adjust light levels to complement the amount of natural light entering the space from large windows. This project is anticipating LEED-CI Gold certification.