Rockwell Group transformed a building put up in 1911 into an elegant W Hotel for the Starwood hotel chain (HOT). The Guardian Life Building in New York reflected the French architectural style of the late 19th century when it was constructed, and Rockwell built on these features.
IDEO researched the habits of Prada shoppers and found they spent hours with their personal store staffers. The dressing room maximizes the time spent together. An interactive closet reads RF (radio frequency) tags on clothes, providing information on a nearby flat touch screen on size and color availability and possible accessories. The room's transparent glass doors can be made opaque for privacy. This store breaks the mold.
W UNION SQUARE HOTEL
DESIGNER: Rockwell Group
A grand staircas runs from the lobby to a restored ballroom that overlloks a park.
PHOTO ESSAY: 2002 Best Product Designs
Apple Computer (AAPL) had to build stores fast when it decided to roll out 27 of them recently. With Eight Inc.'s help, Apple succeeded in communicating its unique product-design language in large commercial spaces. The Apple stores project a digital lifestyle, not a buy-the-box atmosphere. Clean lines, wood, and glass all project a cool Apple image.