Michael Vanderbyl redesigns HBF's expanded Los Angeles showroom in the Pacific Design Center.
Jen Renzi -- Interior Design, 7/1/2001 12:00:00 AM
"We always work with Michael Vanderbyl—he's the best," says Steven Gane, president of HBF, who tapped the multi-talented designer to remodel its Los Angeles showroom. By expanding into an adjacent space, HBF gained square footage and improved public access but inherited an oddly-shaped floorplan: two triangles joined at the tip. "It was one of the more challenging spaces I've worked on," admits Vanderbyl. Pragmatic concerns were thus as crucial to the project's success as communicating brand identity.
"The design is an evolution of what we've been doing for HBF all along," says Vanderbyl, who has overseen the company's showroom strategy since 1985. "We've been pushing towards a more modern look, one that respects the brand's past while projecting it forward." Gane provided only two guidelines: that the 2,500-sq.-ft. space be "progressive" and integrate ample textile display. In Vanderbyl's solution, the two concepts work largely hand in hand. The coloration of the dark-stained maple wall partitions, which feature a circular, retro motif, is borrowed directly from the seating and casegoods on display. Barbara Barry's plush lambswool draperies grace the expansive windows to form a neutral backdrop while her new collection of sheers hang column-like off ceiling-mounted hoops. Such elements provide spatial definition without compartmentalizing the space. To conceal the vast grid of sampling cards along the textile wall, lined with floor-to-ceiling shelving, Vanderbyl fashioned two sliding panels draped with cascading fabrics. "The idea behind this space—which we're going to hold them to—is to frequently rotate the collections shown," says Vanderbyl, a veritable crusader when it comes to updating merchandise.
"I think it's an absolutely beautiful project—I have a history of making Michael look good," jokes Gane, knowing full well that theirs is a symbiotic relationship.
Peter Fischl and Jeremy Regenbogen collaborated with Vanderbyl on the showroom.