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A spatial expression of the city of dreams…

By Retail4Growth Bureau | October 20, 2022

Bowery Bay, the historic name for LaGuardia Airport in New York, has been designed by JGA as an experiential shopping destination that reflects the story of New York - a resilient and tough city that has grown dynamically in the face of multiple challenges. 

Another one from JGA that resonates with the New York of the 19th century, ‘Bowery Bay’, was  in fact the historic name for the current LaGuardia location, and was always a point of entry, access, and exchange for a rapidly growing New York of that era.

As JGA informs, “dreaming big,” was always a part of the ethos of New York - the idea being that if you can make it here, you can make it anywhere! LaGuardia thus had to reflect all that the city stood for and experienced - the politics, the Depression, and even Nature (LaGuardia Airport apparently “rose” out of the swamp, expanding rapidly during the mid-century).

The LaGuardia that stands now has been re-envisioned by JGA as a series of “neighborhoods” (as indeed New York is known for the unique identity of each of its boroughs, and within the boroughs, neighborhoods) that address culinary, technology, wellness, fashion, entertainment, in a series of complementary, yet distinctive, shopping experiences.

This space, reportedly the largest of its type in the U.S., has been designed as a “planned flow,” a unique arrangement more reminiscent of international Duty-Free Store.

For JGA the challenge was how to create a space that has an overall identity, could address some highly challenging architectural “opportunities” - from soaring 25 foot ceilings to very compressed and challenging 10 foot ceiling heights - highly irregular footprint and address the shopper needs to have a quick read, especially for the infrequent tourist traveler, and yet offer an interesting and “sticky” appeal to the more frequent, even weekly, business traveler.

The team went at it with gusto creating elements that stand out, like the  creation of a digital “mural,” using segmented and articulated digital media “sticks,” which helped create a forward momentum, balancing the activation and movement of a traditional digital installation and avoiding the “stadium billboard” effect of a full digital installation It thus provides an interesting art moment and represents the ability to localize and celebrate events, and in a highly cost effective way too! Highly iconic institutions, such as The Strand, one of the world’s largest independently owned bookstore help “localize” the shopper experience. The project is an interesting example of space that truly encapsulates the spirit of the city and in the process creating unforgettable moments.   

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