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The Best Retail Architects in New York City

February 4, 2021 14 Min Read

New York has long been recognized for its famous buildings and towers. Fifth Avenue is well known as one of the most important retail hubs on the planet. These retail establishments are known for their modern designs that represent the city’s thriving atmosphere. Some of the architects responsible for the city’s prominent structures are included on this list.

Aside from years of experience dealing with elaborate and sophisticated design, most of these architects have won numerous awards and have been repeatedly featured by national and international media. These architects are also members of well-known industry organizations and have LEED-accredited professionals on their teams.

Gabellini Sheppard Associates

665 Broadway, Suite #706, New York, NY 10012

Gabellini Sheppard, a firm that has designed and delivered large-scale retail projects since 1991, has worked with international fashion designers such as David Yurman, Jil Sander, and Giorgio Armani Salvatore Ferragamo. Since the firm’s inception, the business has been known for its sculptural skill with light, space, and materials.

The Vera Wang flagship boutique in New York is the most prominent of these exquisite spaces. This 2,000-square-foot atmosphere was inspired by the dynamic elements of a white box theater and was meant to reflect the designer’s aesthetic of beautiful, expressive luxury.

Over the years, the company has developed similarly captivating projects that have won it several accolades, including the AIA New York’s 2017 Excelsior Award for Public Architecture, the International Design Association (IIDA)’s Global Excellence Award, and the Merit Award from the Society of American Registered Architects (SARA). Along with such distinctions, the firm’s work has appeared in several periodicals, including the New York Times, Dwell, The Wall Street Journal, and Architectural Digest.

TPG Architecture

31 Penn Plaza, 132 West 31st St, 5th Floor, New York, NY 10001

TPG Architecture, founded in 1979, is a design studio that has collaborated with brands such as Piaget, Ferrari, Kate Spade, and Birkenstock. It has built a portfolio of sophisticated and elegant projects over time. One of them is the Ferrari’s Park Avenue showroom design. The 6,800-square-foot room has a modern appearance that complements Ferrari’s brand colors of red, black, and silver.

These kinds of projects have brought the firm a number of honors, including two 2020 awards at the Design:Retail Spectrum Competition. The firm was also recognized with other titles in the same year, including rankings in VMSD’s list of Top Retail Design Firms and ENR’s list of the Top 500.

Design Republic Partners Architects

501 Madison Avenue, 11th Floor, New York, NY 10022

Design Republic, founded in 2010, is recognized for excelling in corporate workplaces, retail, and media technology design. The firm has created projects for over 200 high-profile clients, including Puma, Hugo Boss, Lacoste, Fendi, and Furla. It takes pride in being open and collaborative, and it is dedicated to finding new ways to combine design excellence and outcomes. The Design Republic story is based on a belief system that encapsulates the company’s distinct design culture, one that challenges the status quo—it’s a culture of purpose, trust, and open, constructive debate.

The firm is led by six principals, nearly all are AIA members and certified LEED AP. The firm was rated the #1 Rising Giant by Interior Design Magazine in 2018 and was an NYCxDesign Honoree. Along with such accolades, its work has been published in various publications, including Forbes, Business Insider, Engineering News-Record (ENR), and 6Sqft.

Mancini Duffy

520 8th Avenue, 23rd Floor, New York, NY 10018

Mancini Duffy, a full-service design firm specializing in architecture, planning, and interior design, has a 100-year background and a tech-forward strategy. With headquarters in New York City and regional offices in Millburn and Red Bank, New Jersey, the firm combines a century of experience with a modern entrepreneurial mindset and technological skills for clients in the commercial, education, financial, retail, healthcare, multi-family residential, restoration, institutional, religious, sports, technology, and media sectors.

Mancini Duffy dates back to 1915 when Thomas Bruce Boyd Architect was established in New York City. After changing its name to Halsey, McCormack & Helmer, the company designed iconic buildings such as the Williamsburgh Savings Bank. The firm became famous for its spectacular bank buildings that helped define the architectural fabric of greater New York throughout the years.

Christian D. Giordano, the firm’s new president, takes his leadership position with 20 years of expertise and a well-known dedication to advancing the industry’s boundaries. Christian was chosen president of Mancini Duffy in October 2014, less than a year after joining the firm. He became majority owner in January 2017.

Kenneth Park Architects

360 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY 10017

Kenneth Park Architects delivers services for retail, commercial, and mixed-use architecture on a national and, on occasion, international scale. The firm was named on the 2019 list of Top Retail Design Firms and has appeared in Flaunt Magazine, Vogue, 6Sqft, and Archinect, among others. This fame has brought the firm high-profile customers, including brand names like Adidas, Balenciaga, Saint Laurent, Gucci, and Diane Von Furstenberg, among many others. These powerful names have seen the firm’s ability to create unique brand concepts and prototype designs.

Kenneth Park and Robert Yuricic, seasoned principals, supervise the firm’s projects. Park is the company’s founder and principal architect, with over 30 years of expertise providing architectural, development, and consulting services to major retailers and developers worldwide. Meanwhile, Yuricic has over 25 years of expertise working on and managing some of New York City’s greatest retail projects.

RAND Engineering & Architecture

159 West 25th Street, New York, NY 10001

RAND Engineering & Architecture, an interdisciplinary company with knowledge in both engineering and architecture, was founded in 1987 to assist owners, managers, and co-op and condo boards in keeping their buildings well-maintained and visually appealing. The firm’s 100-person team has designed projects for clients like Buccellati, Journelle, Moncler, and Louis Leeman.

RAND Engineering & Architecture was named one of ENR New York’s Top Design Firms in 2017. The firm’s work has also been featured in publications such as The Wall Street Journal, Habitat Magazine, The New York Times, and Architectural Digest.

Cass Calder Smith Architecture + Interiors

180 Varick Street, #930, New York, NY 10014

Cass Calder Smith is committed to architectural and design excellence. The firm has created a wide range of public and private buildings and interiors since its founding in 1990. The firm has received worldwide recognition for the architectural and commercial success of its restaurant projects. The distinctiveness of its residential, commercial, and mixed-use buildings has resulted in an extraordinary level of owner satisfaction and media acclaim. Several publications have featured its work, including Hospitality Snapshots, Hospitality Design, Robb Report, Nob Hill Gazette, and 7×7.

CCS’s broad experience and knowledge enable its team to deliver full or independent architecture and interior design services for every project scale, from ground-up through renovations to interior build-outs. It has effectively delivered inventive solutions for individuals, corporations, and non-profits through a process guided by leadership, understanding, invention, and collaboration.

tacklebox architecture

55 Nassau Avenue, Suite #2A1, Brooklyn, NY 11222

The portfolio of this 14-year-old architecture practice includes retail interiors, commercial office design, single and multi-family designs, and cannabis shops. Tacklebox’s work has won numerous honors, and it has been featured in over 75 publications, including Forbes, The New York Times, Vogue, Architectural Digest, Interior Design Magazine, and Fast Company.

Tacklebox Architecture has worked with various clients throughout the years, including Aesop, Claus Porto, and Kering. The most renowned of its many projects is its work on Claus Porto’s Manhattan store.

The project above was honored with 14 international design awards, including the 2019 NYCxDesign Award in the retail category and the AIA New York’s Merit Award. The was named one of the Top 10 Most Beautiful Shops in 2018 by AD Magazine France.

Ronnette Riley Architect

494 Eighth Avenue, 15th Floor, New York, NY 10001

Ronnette Riley Architect is known for incorporating new and old materials and methods into sophisticated and well-crafted spaces. Over the years, the firm’s ability to produce comfortable design and technical proficiency has led many clients to return. The firm has seen consistent growth in institutional, retail, commercial, and residential projects. It is also often complimented for managing the collaborative construction process on schedule and within budget.

Its commitment to innovation has earned the team numerous prizes, including the AIA New York City Merit Award for Architecture and the AIA New York State Excellence in Design Award. The firm’s work has been featured in numerous publications, including Architectural Record, The New York Times, and BUILD Magazine, as well as international publications like Pantheon in the Netherlands, The Sunday Press in Ireland, and View Magazine in Italy.

Mapos Architects

2 East Broadway, 7th Floor, New York, NY 10038

Mapos Architects is a globally acknowledged and award-winning team of architects and designers who have sharpened their skills to design projects that mirror the firm’s modern and intimate designs. The Lexington Avenue branch of Korean beauty giant Innisfree is a great example—the store has a design that seamlessly integrates the brand’s natural and light atmosphere with New York’s concept of glam, grit, bright lights, and scaffoldings. The lower half of the scaffold is dedicated solely to the brand’s colorful products. In contrast, the upper half serves as a reimagined plant wall and abstracted cityscape centered on the theme of “The Island,” which is placed in the center of the store and lit by a group of 35 randomly placed and sized light spheres. Mapos has collaborated with brand giants like Clinique, Sleep Studio, and Green Depot.

Such projects have brought the firm plenty of attention, including a spot on VMSD’s Top Retail Design Firms list in 2020 and 2019. The firm was also named a 2019 NYCxDesign Large Retail Honoree. Mapos was a Special Mention Honoree for the Architizer A+Awards the same year. Several publications, including The New York Times, Inc., Elle Decor Italia, and Architect Magazine, have also covered the firm’s impressive work.

Montroy DeMarco Architecture

99 Madison Avenue, 14th Floor, New York, NY 10016

Montroy DeMarco Architecture (MDA), founded in 1990, is known for providing both design excellence and technological expertise. This skill set is evident in the firm’s portfolio, including some of the most notable commercial, retail, multi-family, workplace, hotel, life sciences, and senior housing projects constructed in New York City and around the country. MDA is a subsidiary of Montroy Andersen DeMarco (MADGI), offering interior design services in the same markets, including retail. It has been ranked as the 133rd largest design business in the United States by Building Design + Construction. The firm’s work has also been published in magazines such as The New York Times, Interior Design, and Engineering News-Record (ENR). This attention has brought MDA projects with famous names like Zara, Jordache, CitizenM Hotels, the U.S. Polo Association, and Camper Fifth Avenue.

Complex projects like the one shown above are managed by principals Daniel Montroy, AIA, Richard J DeMarco, AIA, and Steven Andersen.

Tricarico Architecture

502 Valley Road, Wayne, NJ 07470

Tricarico Architecture and Design was established in 1987 with a strong emphasis on retail design. Since its inception, the firm has worked with hundreds of clients, resulting in years of successful projects. The firm has grown into a multi-disciplined architecture and design firm with a diverse team and an experienced in-house M.E.P. department. The firm’s experienced staff handles projects in various market sectors, including retail, restaurant, corporate interiors, commercial, fitness, beauty, veterinary, cannabis, and automotive.

Tricarico Architecture and Design holds memberships with the American Institute of Architects, the New Jersey Society of Architects, the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC), and the Retail Design Institute. The firm was also recognized as one of the Top 100 Architecture Firms in New York by Rethinking the Future (2020).

Biber Architects

171 Creamery Road, Stanfordville, NY 12581

Biber Architects is a well-organized, highly experienced team of architects and designers who have been working in New York and worldwide for over 30 years. From the first meeting through the opening party, James Biber oversees the firm and creatively drives all of its projects—often creating the client’s next project and the next one after that. Mr. Biber has worked in an interdisciplinary setting for over 25 years, with his work centered on the concept that architecture is a statement of identity and inextricably linked to its language of form and tectonics.

Biber Architects’ team includes American Institute of Architects members, Fellows of the American Institute of Architects, and LEED-accredited professionals. The press has also featured the firm’s works, including The Architect’s Newspaper, World Architecture, AP News, AN Interior, Metropolis Magazine, and The Financial Post.

Slade Architecture

77 Chambers Street, 5th Floor, New York, NY 10007

Slade Architecture has worked with international brands such as Pepsi, Virgin Atlantic, Rockrose, and Renaissance Hotel, among many others. Flight Club commissioned the firm to develop a new flagship shop in an existing loft building in New York City’s Greenwich Village. The project features a mix of urban recreational spaces and modern art.

The firm’s work has been featured in publications such as The New York Times, The Independent, Fast Company, and Surface Magazine. The firm has also received several other honors, including the Innovative Concept Award and the Soft Line Goods Award at the 2018 Retail Design Institute Awards for its work on Flight Club LA.

janson scuro

180 Varick Street, New York, NY 10014

Janson Scuro LLP, founded in 1995, is a multi-disciplined architecture and interior design company headquartered in New York City’s bustling Hudson Square district, where Soho, Tribeca, and Greenwich Village converge. The company blends architecture and interior design disciplines, giving clients the resources they need to conceptualize and execute projects smoothly, inside and out.

Clients have included Calvin Klein, Frette, Neiman Marcus, Holt Renfrew, Frame, ALC, Kohler, and many others. The company has been featured in multiple magazines like Dezeen, Vogue, Cottages & Gardens, Forbes, The Wall Street Journal, and Architectural Digest.