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MACY'S UNION SQUARE (San Francisco): Great urban response to a difficult set of parameters.

Wall of glass

The renovation of Macy's Union Square presented some problems for the design team. The three buildings that comprise the store had varying floor-to-floor heights and were not all interconnected. There also was a need for various code upgrades. These factors provided the design team with an opportunity for a new retail landmark, and that is just what they created. In the category of New or Renovated Department Stores (Shell), San Francisco-based Patri Merker Architects was awarded the 2001 SADI for its design work on the project.

The new 235,000-sq.-ft. building respects the scale and rhythm of the neighborhood and gives Macy's a grand entry on Union Square. Reflecting Macy's historic presence and its forward-looking image, the design integrates contextual influences and modern materials.

Five floors of shop windows above the street level can be seen from Union Square, and coordinated displays spanning several floors offer “retail theater” on Geary Street. Architecturally, the window placement responds to the patterns found in nearby buildings and activates the façade.


New or Renovated Department Stores (Shell)

Award Recipient

Patri Merker Architects

San Francisco

Dana Merker (principal-in-charge); Piero Patri (principal); Tom Harry (design director); Marie Zeller (governmental approvals); Dean Randle (project architect)


Federated Department Stores


Product Manufacturers/Suppliers: (contractor): Swinerton & Walberg, San Francisco ; Dinwiddie Construction Co., San Francisco; Berhard Woodwork Ltd., Northbrook, Ill.; Master Millwork Inc., Puyallup, Wash.; Suss Woodwork Inc., Quebec, Canada; Modern Woodwork Inc., Lewiston, Maine; Spencer & Reynolds Inc., Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.; Continental Store Fixtures, Sacramento, Calif.; Goebel Fixture Co., Hunchinson, Mich.; Rinaldi Tile & Marble, Watsonville, Calif.; J. Dean Ballard & Son Ltd., San Leandro, Calif.; Abbey Store Fixtures Ltd., Ontario, Canada (fixture contractor); Ahrens Studio, San Rafael, Calif. (mural painting on linen); Sirmos, New York (cast resin capitals, vitrines and panels); Skyline Design, Chicago (cloud castings); Sepp Leaf, New York (composite leaf); Innovative Marble & Tile Inc., Hauppauge, N.Y. (hard flooring); (carpeting): Atlas Carpet Mills Inc., Los Angeles; Mohawk Industries Inc., Atlanta; The Harbinger Co., New York; Lightron of Cornwall Inc., New Windsor, N.Y. (general lighting); Alexandra Lighting Systems Inc., Colorado Springs, Colo. (display lighting); Bernhardt Contract Furniture, New York (furniture); Art People, New York (specialty wall coverings)

TAGS: News
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