Normal Retail-HWKN

August 21, 2014

 (NEW YORK, NY) When Normal, the innovative new brand producing 3D printed, tailor-made earphones wanted to create an environment where its audio innovation could be brought to life, they looked to progressive New York architecture firm HWKN. After collaborating closely with Normal’s engineering team to understand their niche manufacturing process employing 3D printers, raw materials and product assembly, HWKN’s design team developed a concept for the 11,000sf space that combines both factory and retail environments in one, allowing customers to see behind the scenes as their custom earphones are produced in real time at the turn-of-the-century industrial space on West 22nd Street.

”HWKN brought the kind of exuberance and knowledge you want an architecture firm to have creating a flagship space for any brand – you can really see and feel that combination in ours,” said Normal’s founder Nikki Kaufman. ”It was fast paced and highly collaborative but the result is a number of unique auditory, tactile and visual details that we think come together to showcase our production methods and product beautifully.” The offices, workbench and retail spaces are visually layered to connect the factory and offices, revealing the entire production process.”We didn’t want to hide Normal’s innovative process behind closed doors,” said Matthias Hollwich, Principal of HWKN. ”Because customers engage with the brand by contributing to the production process, shopping in an ‘on demand factory’ became the essence of the retail experience.”

Modular wall frames highlighting individual stages of the process connect to the exposed structure while 15ft floor-to-ceiling glass partitions allow for maximum transparency to product assembly spaces, meeting areas and work spaces. Seating and displays in the retail environment are sized to the precise dimensions of the structural columns to create architectural features that highlight the space in playful fashion.



The result is an energized, contemporary retail space of both presentation and production. By allowing customers to engage in each step of the manufacturing process HWKN has created an exciting retail experience based on the essence of Normal’s brand – changing the rules (and future) of American manufacturing. Normal’s flagship space at 150 West 22nd Street, New York has now opened its doors to the public’s earholes!


Photo Credits: James Ewing/OTTO

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