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The Limited At Union Square
San Francisco, California

Located one block off Union Square, The Limited's West Coast flagship store is an award-winning showcase featuring three floors of fashion retail. Its 40,000 square foot conversion combines three separate sales areas, or sub-stores, into one superstore. The concept of being "as much unlike a department store as possible" is accomplished in its vertical circulation and spatial movement, using skewed mezzanines and escalators counterpoint to the building's base. It is designed as a stage for merchandising events and the backdrop against which staff and customers "perform." Its high-fashion, European ambience is achieved with dynamic open spaces offset by smaller, more intimate areas. Level changes and spaces are defined with different floor and wall materials. This exciting environment is placed in a transparent envelope of windows, exposing the interior to the street and making the store itself a merchandising display. The project was designed for The Limited and was undertaken by the Principals of Architecture International when they were Principals of The Architects Collaborative.