Sunday, October 21, 2007


Breakfast on Wall St., Anyone? - New York Times

Tiffany is trying to forge a sleek, younger brand to keep up in the competitive luxury goods market.

This isn't your grandmother's Tiffany...

WHEN it opened a store this month at 37 Wall Street in the financial district of Manhattan, Tiffany & Company was coming back to the old neighborhood. It was just around the corner, on Broadway, that the luxury jeweler was founded in 1837 by Charles Lewis Tiffany and a partner.

The new branch is housed in the former Trust Company of America bank, a 25-story structure built in 1907; the choice of the historic building was a nod to Tiffany’s roots in the area. But within the marble-clad interior, the architect George Yabu, a principal of the Yabu Pushelberg firm based in Toronto, has created a shimmering contemporary emporium that is a departure from other Tiffany stores.

The goal was to appeal to younger, wealthier customers moving into new residential units below Chambers Street and the area’s growing number of well-heeled tourists, according to Mr. Yabu.

“It needed to make some noise that it was down there in this new neighborhood and that we have all this high-quality stuff but we are also kind of cool and hip,” said Mr. Yabu, whose company also renovated the second floor of the Tiffany flagship at 57th Street and Fifth Avenue six years ago and designed the W hotel in Times Square. “It needed a little more spark,” he said.

Tiffany’s in-house designers and Yabu Pushelberg decided that a modern approach was best, with sleek glass fixtures and accessories that would highlight Tiffany’s diamonds, fine jewelry and gifts without obscuring the decorative details of the interior. Tiffany was prohibited from making major structural changes to the Beaux-Arts-style ground floor and mezzanine of the 11,000-square-foot interior of the building, which is recognized for its architectural significance by the New York State Historic Preservation Office.


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