The Back-Story
This was the 12th store for the New York City-based face, body and hair care brand, but their first-ever location in a mall (albeit a mall designed by Kelly Wearstler). It was also 5th design for Malin + Goetz, so the overall mandate of modern apothecary applied here as it did to their freestanding locations.

Project Name: Malin+Goetz Century City
Firm Name: Messana O’Rorke
Location: Westfield Century City mall, Los Angeles, California
Square footage: 720
Status: Built

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Malin+Goetz Century City by Messana O'Rorke - sheet1

The Mandate
To recreate the feeling of their free-standing shops, with separate areas for face, body, hair, fragrance and candles, plus the addition of a sink and at least one found object, while taking into account the mall location (flanked by Aesop and Kiehl’s) and upscale clientele.

The vision
We divided the space into distinct sections that flowed from the entry. Clients first encounter products showcased in an antique display case, then move through to face, body and hair care offerings, located opposite an imposing counter that accommodates both check out and mini treatments, before reaching the fragrance and candle bar.

Malin+Goetz Century City by Messana O'Rorke - sheet4

The Process
Finishes were thoughtfully and carefully chosen to create the sense of luxury, a nod to apothecary, and a gesture to their original Chelsea store.

Floors throughout are European oak, brushed and treated to look naturally aged, and set in a chevron pattern. Venetian plaster gives a subtle artisanal feel to walls in the front of the space, while floor-to-ceiling fumed European Oak planks were used in the rear. Those beveled planks, combined with the purposely lowered ceiling, act to beckon clients towards the area (set with a black granite fragrance bar) by creating a sense of intimacy and mystery.

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Malin+Goetz Century City by Messana O'Rorke - sheet11

A block of Arabescato marble in the center of the store serves several purposes including cash wrap, display case and, thanks to the inset sink, a mini spa of sorts for facials and other treatments. It sits opposite three James Turrellinspired plexiglass niches filled with the brand’s complete selection of face, body and hair care products.

Messana O’Rorke

Founded in 1996 in New York City, Messana O’Rorke is a dynamic and evolving practice with a commitment to the inherent value of design to enhance the quality of life at all levels of exposure. The nexus of architecture, contemporary culture and current technology is the constant focus of our endeavors, from research driven investigations to realized projects. An interdisciplinary practice, MO’R has resisted becoming specialized in any particular aspect of architecture, and actively seeks new design challenges. Messana and O’Rorke direct teams of professional and talented individuals in projects both in the United States and
internationally. The firm invests its creative energies in a broad range of residential, commercial, institutional and theoretical projects, with a scope that varies from furniture and functional products, to interior architecture and the built environment.
Collaboration is the essential component in MO’R relationships with clients, they focus their experience, expertise and imaginations into realizing the unique aspirations of each project beyond its expectation.


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