Founded in 2005, Green Depot’s mission is to make “green” building and living solutions accessible, affordable and gratifying. In late 2007 they approached Mapos to partner in their brand development and to create their first retail location, a flagship store in Manhattan. Their top priority was to build a store that was both a three-dimensional brand statement and a learning center that would educate their customers on what it “means to be green.”
As a leading provider of green and sustainable products for the construction industry, Green Depot’s extensive library of materials and finishes was to be showcased within the store location – a Landmarked building in the up-and-coming Bowery district. Built in 1885 as the first YMCA in New York City, the historical building possessed hints of grandeur despite its recent state of disrepair.
The resulting space is a hybrid retail store and interactive educational center designed to empower the customer to make informed choices on sustainable building and lifestyle products. Working closely with the New York Landmarks Preservation Commission, the first step was to uncover, repair, and celebrate as much of the original finishes of the original 1885 building as possible. New finishes, fixtures, and displays were then strategically layered on top of the old to highlight the buildings history. The collection of old and new materials creates a colorful story of re-use and adaptation.
The custom designed floor and wall fixtures were made out of standard construction materials and re-purposed “found” materials on the job site. Built on a modular system, the flexible fixtures can be easily re-configured and transform the Sales Floor for the many events, lectures, and product launches that are a part of Green Depot’s offering. Mapos also created custom lighting fixtures that highlight the products and illuminate the store at loads 50% below ASHRAE standards—a new benchmark for retail.
Integrated throughout the store are a series of interactives that highlight different Green Depot product lines and engage the customer to become a “co-author” of their in-store experience. Some of the highlights are the Cleaning Bar, where customers can order their favorite cleaning solutions on tap and have their BYO-recycled containers filled and re-filled; the Light Booth where guests can compare the difference in light quality between various types of energy-efficient light bulbs; and the series of “Building Slices,” inspired by the work of artist Gordon Matta-Clark, which reveal the inner workings of sustainable architecture.