Retail Rebirth, Part VI

Target flips an old bowling alley and incorporates nostalgic references
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Posted October 8, 2019

Retail Renovation Competition, First Place
Conversion – Discount/Mass Merchant
Target, Portland, Ore.
Submitted by: Target Corp., Minneapolis

When Target Corp. (Minneapolis) sets out to open a new small-format store, most important is how it fits into the community, like in Portland’s Richmond area, where the mass merchant had the chance to reinvigorate a beloved bygone bowling alley. “When we discover a space with a great story, we do our best to maintain the character of that building,” says Eames Gilmore, Sr. Director, Target. And their designers did just that (with Seattle-based MG2 producing the construction documents), boldly recalling the history of the storied space, rather than trying to hide it.

The resulting renovation blends midcentury modern with Target’s signature contemporary branding, with not-so-subtle bowling references throughout, including the exterior stacked signage, a transformation of the signature sidewalk bollards into bowling balls, lane graphics in the parking garage, globe pendant lighting and thoughtful reuse of the site’s original signage. “We make an extra effort to rework previously developed sites for our new stores, and we knew this particular location was an incredible opportunity,” Gilmore says.

To make the space work for a two-level retail environment, its low ceilings were removed to expose bow string trusses and the ceiling deck. A vibrant red vinyl composition tile flooring was selected for the upper level to recall the ’50s and ’60s, and the ground-floor bowling lanes were replaced with polished concrete. To represent Portland, a large-scale focal wall features local imagery such as bridges, food trucks and nearby mountains.

VMSD competition judge Eric Daniel, Creative Director of Fitch (Columbus, Ohio) appreciated the inclusion of original elements: “This is an excellent example of ‘yes’ – renovation and reuse. This is smart in so many ways.”

For Retail Rebirth, Part I, click here.
For Retail Rebirth, Part II, click here.
For Retail Rebirth, Part III, click here.
For Retail Rebirth, Part IV, click here.
For Retail Rebirth, Part V, click here.