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Neiman Marcus, Walnut Creek, Calif.


Neiman Marcus took full advantage of its Northern California locale in the design of its store in Walnut Creek, Calif. The interior finishes and materials draw from the rich colors of the surrounding landscape, and the space takes advantage of the famed California sunshine. The two-level store—the 42nd Neiman Marcus store to date—offers a fresh take on modern luxury shopping in a smaller format for the upscale retailer, featuring 85.870 sq. ft. of selling space.

The exterior reflects the Neiman Marcus’ contemporary, art-infused sensibility. The design architect, MBH Architects, used colored artisan glass mixed with different textures to create a façade wrapped by arched roofing, with one-inch insulated panels supported by aluminum mullions. At night, when the glass is illuminated, the mullions appear in silhouette and create a much different effect than in the daytime.

The interior, designed by Charles Sparks + Co. in partnership with the retailer, is planned as a series of informal interlocking spaces. The materials palette includes warmer, lighter tonality, and the use of glass and metal screens that provide a feeling of openness and translucency.

In keeping with a longstanding Neiman Marcus tradition, locally-inspired artwork is integrated throughout the space (the design includes “neutral” zones for the placement of the art pieces). Celebrated Bay Area artist Ned Kahn created a kinetic sculpture, called “Wind Fins,” for the exterior of the building,

Design: Charles Sparks + Co., Westchester, Ill., in partnership with Neiman Marcus

Design architect: MBH Architects, Alameda, Calif.

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