Basketball court inside to test the new LeBrons? Yes, sir.
While we do much of our shopping online, a new wave of brick-and-mortar revival stemming from an architectural revamp of traditional shop spaces is pushing us back on the streets and back to physical stores.
Sportswear giant Nike has opened two architecturally advanced stores within the past three months, Nike Soho in November and Nike Miami in January, which act as a destination retail experience as opposed to a lazy store.
Both Nike shops house an actual Nike+ Basketball Trial Zone (283-square-feet of pure court, plus an adjustable hoop) for consumers to test the latest products. Yep, no more verifying the feel of a shoe by looking at it in a changing room mirror. While Miami includes a Trial Zone for testing Nike’s running products, which includes a virtual reality screen and real-time feedback via an in-house expert. Oh, and also a testing field for soccer to demo new cleats and get one-on-one guidance from a certified product wiz.
Nike Miami houses these shopping amenities within two stories of multi-sport product lines and play areas. The entire space is more than 31,000 square feet, sits on one of Miami Beach’s most popular shopping districts (1035 Lincoln Road), and tailors its aesthetic to the city it serves. Think bright, vibrant, and naturally lit, matching the colorful city of Miami, with exterior concrete and terrazzo panels that reference South American and South Floridian architecture.
The south and west divisions of the building are wrapped in a concrete brise-soleil, cast with waffle iron and Nike Windrunner patterns— nodding to the classic Nike footwear and apparel with the same prints. This intricate casting filters light to the interior of the store while casting shade on the exterior… which is years beyond other physical shops we’ve been to within the past year.
Adding to its Miami infusion is an art instillation on the first floor, done by the city’s own Jessy Nite. Her site-specific, interactive works are notorious for infusing conceptual art into public places. At Nike Miami, the use of angled tiles coated in dichroic film to reflect natural remain consistent with Nite’s signature use of color, custom typography, and a playful but deeply rooted narrative.
The architecture of Nike Miami also does something completely new: it prompts shoppers to sit and talk with one another. An area made of industrial concrete steps called The Stands was made to act as a space where consumers can discuss latest product drops. Nike Miami will receive some of the most limited of Nike’s offerings, including the new HyperAdapt 1.0, available only by appointment.
Yes, this is what shopping should look like: a museum-meets-playground that gets us excited to leave the house and forget about Amazon altogether.
Photos courtesy Nike
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