Gap Inc. has opened its largest site in the world, a 70,000-square-foot location that houses side-by-side Gap and Old Navy flagships in Manhattan’s Times Square. It’s estimated that roughly 450,000 people pass through the area each day, or more than 50 million people per year. Built simultaneously, the two stores occupy most of the massive space that formerly housed the Toys “R” Us flagship, a previous GMS project, which closed at the end of 2015.
Key design elements include a structural steel and glass elevator in the two-level atrium, multi-colored programmable LEDs behind a blue polycarbonate curtain wall system, and a recessed linear LED fixture at the perimeter of each sales area. A 30-foot logo structure in the middle of the store allows for breathtaking visual merchandising opportunities of the brand’s latest story and product.
Each floor has a distinct story to tell, based upon the key tenets of the brand but amplified for the flagship location. With a transparent multi-store storefront façade, the team created an energetic window into the activity of the store to engage the Times Square visitor.
The structural design process included white boxing the former store, replacing floors, and removing old escalators and elevators. GMS designed the structural plans for pits and penetrations, to provide new elevators and escalators, and other miscellaneous structural work.
For Gap, a new storefront with a maintenance catwalk was installed. At Old Navy, two building columns were removed at the Broadway face, which involved making the existing girders work as one continuous girder and reinforcing it to support the roof, all the while, keeping existing billboards in place. A rooftop package including cooling towers, fresh air units, and a self-contained boiler room keep the temperature comfortable for shoppers and workers.
Both stores were designed to provide an optimum customer experience, and feature concierge desks with touch-screen tablets linked to the brands’ look-books, phone charging stations and “chill spaces.” Catering to the stores’ tourist merchandise opportunity, the venue offers custom New York products and souvenirs, complete with a floor-to-ceiling subway tile wall and a neon Statue of Liberty installation.
“The success of the build-outs of Gap and Old Navy in Times Square was attributed to the energy and drive of how each project team member thought about, partnered, and strived to be better every day.”
– GAP Senior Management