A high-end clothing store with a swimming pool in the middle of it might seem a bit unorthodox—even for Melrose Place. Then again, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen haven’t built one of the most successful brands in the world by following the rules. Their new Shawmut-built flagship, The Row, is proof of that.
For starters, the stucco building isn’t so much a building as it is a home. In fact, it once was a home—to musician Neil Diamond. Cool, right? That’s only the beginning. Wanting to maintain the integrity and charm of the historic neighborhood, the Olsens made a conscious decision to blend the existing space into their retail concept. The result is spectacular.
Guests entering The Row walk along a gorgeous, narrow brick courtyard. It’s here that they first see one of the store’s more stunning features: the 11’ x 22’ pool. Motorized glass panels along three sides of the pool allow light to travel throughout the east and west galleries of the space. And the charcoal-grey plaster used to line the pool allows the water to achieve a warm, welcoming hue that complements and enhances the peaceful environment of the courtyard.
Shawmut’s project team and Montalba Architects, transformed the 4,700 square foot space in 15 weeks. A remarkable achievement considering the amount of work—entryway modifications, structural steel work, concrete flooring, and an unusual amount of custom work including mirrors, an extensive millwork package, new lighting, and new doors and frames.
Needless to say, this private boutique is a departure from typical California flagships—a secluded oasis tucked away from the hectic LA scene. Welcome home.