Manhattan, NY Timothy Oulton, the innovative British furniture, lighting, and home décor accessories brand known for its subversive take on luxury, has officially opened its new East Coast Flagship store and showroom. McAlpine Contracting built the dramatic 7,170 s/f retail space at 901 Broadway at 20th St., in the city’s popular Flatiron District.
Timothy Oulton has an international presence, with 47 retail galleries worldwide. In addition to the newly opened location, the brand currently operates seven stores in the U.S. The brand’s roots date back to 1976 when Tim Oulton’s father opened an antiques shop in Manchester, England. Tim later took over the business, refocusing on epic product design inspired by the past, yet relevant for modern lifestyles. Today, Timothy Oulton is a world leader and innovator in the design, production and distribution of luxury furniture and home décor accessories.
“We opened one of our first galleries in New York City back in 2009 because I considered New York one of the great, if not the greatest, of the world’s cities. It’s a global epicenter of great design, so I’m excited to be reopening here,” said founder and creative director Tim Oulton. “We recently opened new stores in Downtown Los Angeles and Miami, but New York is extra special and complements openings in other prominent gateway cities elsewhere in the world,” he said.
901 Broadway is a portion of a larger building that was designed and constructed in 1870 in the French Second Empire style by James Giles for the retailer Lord & Taylor. It served as a modern and elegant harbinger of the department store retail era in the city. Due to both the building’s innovative use of cast iron, which permitted the installation of impressively large display windows along the first-floor facades, and its cultural significance, the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) designated it as a historic landmark in 1977. The building is located within the Ladies Mile Historic District, designated as a protected architectural heritage neighborhood by the LPC in 1989. This rich mix of heritage and culture makes it the perfect home for Timothy Oulton, who is known for merging tradition with a modern sensibility.
Oulton’s in-house design team at HALO Creative & Design has developed the concept for the new flagship store. New York City-based McAlpine Contracting built the new retail gallery. “This $1 million construction project revitalizes the iconic retail space, which was recently vacant, and attracts buyers to the vibrant Flatiron neighborhood at the time when the retail industry is beginning to recover in Manhattan and nationally,” said McAlpine vice president John Nolan.
“The renovation and build-out have provided a dramatic new look for the ground floor retail space within this important historic building,” said McAlpine director of construction administration Adrian Vasile. “Due to the historical significance of the property, the McAlpine team obtained approval for the store’s design from the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission.”
The Timothy Oulton Collections are rooted in beautiful, authentic materials, including hand-finished leathers, century-old reclaimed timbers, natural stone, industrial metals, and ancient rock crystal, all of which are beautifully displayed in the new space.
Located on the southwest corner, the building extends for 25 ft. along Broadway and 85 ft. along 20th St. and has full-height windows at the first floor that provide clear views into the interior space. At the corner, the façade is turned at a 45° angle from the perpendicular walls, providing an elegant glass framed entrance that is further highlighted by a dramatic tower capping the fifth floor above. The new store features a 1,890 s/f main showroom area on the first floor and a 344 s/f mezzanine. An open stair connects to a 1,221 s/f lower level that provides additional showroom space as well as a café bar, reflecting Timothy Oulton’s ethos of hosting. Additional space on both floors is designated for storage and mechanical spaces.
The interior features a combination of painted gypsum board and exposed brick walls. The first floor and mezzanine have wood plank floors, and the basement floor is polished concrete.
According to Nolan, “Ceiling-mounted Soraa spot lighting systems and custom chandeliers structurally suspended on a steel grid system delineate individual display areas. The grid system lends versatility to the space, allowing the store planners and merchandisers the flexibility to revise the interior layout periodically.”
“The interior design conveys a mix of a traditional British men’s club with the glitz of night clubs from the 1970’s and 80’s,” said McAlpine project manager Tim Olsen. The store includes several unusual features. The most dramatic object is located on the first floor: Timothy Oulton’s signature Apollo capsule, built to the same scale as NASA’s Apollo 11 command module. It is prominently placed in the center of the main floor as an expression of the brand’s craftsmanship and creativity. Rendered as an intimate, luxury lounge, the capsule features a stainless steel shell and bespoke tufted leather interior with crystal lighting. “Conceived as a showcase of Timothy Oulton’s design and manufacturing capabilities, the 4,144 lb. Apollo module replica was built entirely in-house by Oulton’s team of craftsmen and assembled inside the store by the McAlpine team,” Olsen said.
The café area has a new stainless steel bar top, with dramatic lighted bar side panels, a backbar, and commercial grade undercounter appliances. A three-ton fish tank is installed near the front entrance.
The street level windows are framed on the interior with heavy black draperies to further highlight the merchandise and draw shoppers into the store. The lower portion of every window features drop decals of the Timothy Oulton logo, which is also cut into the stone doorstep at the entrance. In addition, backlit pelmet signage is installed over the entrance and at the upper portion of each window.