The Container Store, New York

Elegantly modern design beckons shoppers to new Manhattan store
Posted November 21, 2006

The Container Store strives to build retail spaces that are site-specific expressions of its brand. For its second store in Manhattan, the Coppell, Texas-based retailer chose the base of one of New York’s newest skyscrapers: the 54-story Beacon Court (aka the Bloomberg Tower, for its anchor tenant), designed by Cesar Pelli, located on Lexington Avenue at 58th Street.


“The store’s interior had to respect and reflect the building’s elegantly modern exterior,” says Richard Macri, vp of Rees Associates (Atlanta), the design firm for the project, “while at the same time respond to the high-end nature of its surrounding Upper East Side neighborhood,” which is anchored by a nearby Bloomingdale’s.

That translated into the use of several sophisticated design elements both outside and inside the 25,000-square-foot space. The store’s interior, for example, features a curved-glass wall on its second floor that serves as a backdrop for its food-storage line. To entice shoppers to that upper level, designers employed a variety of visual ploys, including lit stair risers and a wallpaper graphic of tumbling hangers. At the top of the staircase are illuminated product niches “designed to provide the promise of ‘more upstairs,’ as shoppers continue upward,” says Peggy Doughty, The Container Store’s visual merchandising vp.

The store’s exterior features floor-to-ceiling windows offering clear views into the first floor, while the second-level windows house oversized backlit graphics panels (11-by-35 feet) bearing “city-scale” images of hampers, bins, shoe racks, file cabinets and other storage and organizational product lines.

Client: The Container Store, Coppell, Texas

Design: Rees Associates, Atlanta

General Contractor: Richter & Ratner Contracting Corp., Maspeth, N.Y.

Audio/Visual: DMX/AEI Music, Seattle

Ceilings: USG Interiors Inc., Chicago

Fixtures: elfa® Intl., Vastervik, Sweden; Lundia, Varsseveld, Netherlands; Marlite, Dover, Ohio; Megawall, Comstock, Mich.; Regal Plastics, Dallas; StairTec Inc., McKinney, Texas; T-Concepts, Atlanta; Woodworks Plus, Lewisville, Texas

Flooring: Kellen Commercial Flooring Systems, College Station, Texas

Furniture: Garland Woodworks, Sherman, Texas; PIN Mfg., Irving, Texas

Lighting: Villa Lighting Supply Inc., St. Louis; Juno Lighting Inc., Carrollton, Texas

Signage/Graphics: Color X, New York; Rose Display, Salem, Mass.; The Color Place, Dallas; MSD Visual, Paterson, N.J.; Mozaic Ltd., St. Louis

Wallcoverings: Wolf-Gordon Inc., Long Island City, N.Y.

Photography: Mark Wieland, Mark Wieland Photography, Catonsville, Md.