REAL ESTATE

Mall of America lets the sun shine in with massive high-tech skylight

BY Marianne Wilson

A 3,500-sq.-ft. rotunda “smart” skylight has been installed in the new grand entrance and event space at the nation’s largest shopping mall. The new space is part of Mall of America’s 750,000-sq.-ft. expansion.

The skylight is comprised of more than 300 panes of electronically tintable SageGlass, which controls sunlight to optimize daylight and enhance comfort by preventing glare and solar heat.

The skylight is controlled via light sensors, adjusting tint automatically as the sun intensifies throughout the day. Tinting can also be controlled manually as needed for special events at the Mall that require customized glare or heat management. By blocking sunlight on hot days, SageGlass dramatically reduces energy demand, while increasing guest comfort.

“With SageGlass, we’re able to maximize natural light, reduce heat gain and, most importantly, provide guests with a more comfortable experience when they come to the Mall for special events or a day of shopping,” said Rich Hoge, executive VP of operations at Mall of America.

The new atrium, part of the Mall’s expansion, catches the eye of every guest that walks through its doors, Hoge added.

“SageGlass was the solution we were looking for to add a wow factor and yet solve the functional problem of adding so much sunlight in a retail environment,” he said.

In May 2014, Mall of America, which is in Bloomington, Minnesota, embarked on a $325 million expansion project – the most significant construction project for the Mall since its opening more than 20 years ago. The expansion includes a 342-room JW Marriott hotel, an office tower, high-end retailers, new dining options, a tourist welcome center and a large event space.

“Mall of America is a household name not only in our home state of Minnesota but also for visitors from across the country. We’re thrilled SageGlass is part of the new grand entrance of this iconic retail space,” said Alan McLenaghan, CEO, SageGlass.

Mall of America is completing the expansion with partners Mortenson Construction, Hotel Development LLC, the Mdewakanton Sioux Community and the City of Bloomington, Minnesota. DLR Group of Chicago was the architect for the project.

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REAL ESTATE

Neiman Marcus names design firm for its first Manhattan location

BY Marianne Wilson

New York-based Janson Goldstein LLP has been tapped as the design firm for the Neiman Marcus store at Hudson Yards in Manhattan, Women’s Wear Daily reported.

The firm has a wide-ranging practice that includes both residential, hospitality and retail work, with a roster of clients that includes Holt Renfrew, Intermix and Saks Fifth Avenue.

The 215,000-sq.-ft. Neiman’s flagship, which is scheduled to open in fall 2018, will anchor the complex’s Shops and Restaurant area. It will be the luxury retailer’s first location in New York City.

Located on the far west side of Manhattan, Hudson Yards is being developed by Related Companies and Oxford Properties Group. When completed, it will encompass both commercial and residential space, public open space, and a luxury hotel.

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Restoration Hardware unwraps new retail format

BY Marianne Wilson

The newest retail concept from Restoration Hardware now has its very own brick-and-mortar home.

The fist standalone RH Modern has opened, in West Hollywood, California, in the heart of the city’s Design District. The 21,000-sq.-ft. store combines both indoor and outdoor space. RH Modern also debuts with its own distinctive 540-page catalog, a dedicated website and national ad campaign.

The location has a dramatic exterior of white, polished European plaster and 21-ft.-tall glass steel windows that fill the building with fresh air and natural light. The white-on-white exterior signage doubles as an art installation. At night, dramatic halo lit signage and embedded LEDs outline the windows and illuminate the façade in a graphic, architectural glow.

Entering visitors step into a sculpture garden where giant white shade sails and up-lit date palms towering 30 ft. overhead. Black concrete slabs embedded in decomposed granite and basalt form a linear pathway and lead guests through the garden to a striking 18-ft.-wide by 16-ft.-tall wall of cascading water inspired by the famed fountain in New York City’s Paley Park.

A perimeter of angular steel planters and exotic succulents serves as a backdrop to a display of outdoor furnishings.

Continuing indoors, guests will first arrive at the two-story lobby marked by a monolithic staircase with transparent glass and brass railing. The lobby features two specially commissioned works of art by famed Los Angeles artist, RETNA. Three massive “chandeliers – each composed of hundreds of illuminated crystal rods — are suspended 22 ft. overhead.

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