The Lap of Luxury
Las Vegas is known for sunshine, gambling, shopping and entertainment—and when it comes to Hudson Group’s The Atrium at The Palazzo, it is everything but a gamble. This retail experience is a beacon amid the dimly lit casino floor, a glowing light of luxury that beckons visitors to a one-of-a-kind shopping experience.
With the multitude of sights and sounds in Las Vegas, how can a retail space draw visitors away from the flashing lights and ringing bells? With their first foray into luxury hotel retail, Hudson Group rose to this challenge with a 16,000-sq.-ft. specialty retail store—The Atrium at The Palazzo.
This is more than specialty retail—it’s a special collection of products, curated brands and merchandise catering to a luxury traveler. The “curated luxury” experience focuses on five main departments—watches/jewelry, sunglasses, beauty, perfume and liquor (or rather a Liquor Library of special, one-of-a-kind bottles). Brands include everything from Bovet, Dior, Tumi, Burberry and Christopher Claret to House of Sillage, Ferragamo, La Mer, Westone and Remy Martin. The business model is inspired by Hudson Group’s airport-based duty free stores, where they bring together a collection of global brands under one roof.
“We are experts in travel retail; we are the traveler’s best friend,” says Brad Lenz, senior vice president of design, facilities and store development for Hudson Group. “We leveraged our travel expertise and duty-free relationships to deliver 18 shop-in-shops and 60 brands in an organized and cohesive manner. We wanted to surprise and delight our guests and create a journey.”
Located in the casino, the horseshoe-shaped floorplan of this former restaurant space challenged the team to maximize visibility. With two-thirds of the floor not visible from the casino floor, the main priority was pulling people across the lease line. The design strategy needed to capture attention to compete with gambling, free drinks and entertainment, and then continue to draw people deeper into the store to areas tucked away out of sight.
Working with Columbus, Ohio-based Big Red Rooster, a JLL company, the team created an open and glowing storefront with ample sightlines to high-profile brands. “Dimensional gold tile on the storefront is glazed with white and accented by downlighting, creating a shimmering waterfall effect that beckons casino guests in to indulge,” Lenz describes. “Polished, large-format black porcelain tile stands out from the gold both in dimension and scale, forming a stark contrast that serves to highlight the lightness and brightness of the interior of the store.”
Entries on both sides of the corner storefront lead visitors into a bright space with high ceilings and bold materials. A pair of curved aisles wind around the store, highlighting dedicated brand shops on the perimeter, while the interior is focused on the brand-agnostic departments: watches/jewelry, sunglasses, perfume and liquor.
A ribbon ceiling detail accentuates the winding pattern, encouraging a sense of movement, an intuitive wayfinding strategy enhanced by the lighting that leads customers on a journey of discovery. Displays are carefully positioned to pull customers through the space and keep them intrigued by seeing something interesting at every turn. Flooring changes designate distinct zones to subtly delineate boundaries for each area.
The two paths unite at a stunning gold display structure in the fragrance pad. This perfume tower is the last eye-catching element to pull customers to the back to the shop’s key destination areas—perfume and liquor. Resembling a gold tornado, the imposing, 15-ft. structure spirals from the floor up to a stunning gold ceiling. It is constructed of a series of polished brass rings that are interspersed with glowing white acrylic rings in order to showcase the product in an elevated fashion.
A dedicated space for the Liquor Library makes this destination unique, giving it a more intimate feeling. A polished porcelain floor, gray wood and rich green lacquer accents create a signature palette in this area. Wing wall fixtures offer the opportunity to display a breadth of product while at the same time featuring individual products in a way that highlights the beauty of the bottle’s design, label and contents. The layout and finish selections communicate a sense of exclusivity as guests peruse top-shelf wine and spirits. A tasting bar highlighted by the warm glow of a custom chandelier serves as a social hub.
A palette of light, bright materials, including a shimmery white wallcovering and glossy porcelain tile, sets the stage for this luxury experience. Striking black-and-white finishes with accents of gold and lacquer add to the high-end aesthetic while providing a neutral backdrop for the brands.
Due to the lack of natural light and the moodier, warm lighting of the casino floor, the team wanted to enhance the material selections with a bright lighting strategy. Cooler light temperatures contribute to the clean, modern aesthetic, while illuminated surfaces and fixtures highlight individual products. Approximately 1,500 linear ft. of cove lighting was used throughout the space to anchor floor and ceiling elements, and highlight sculptural details.
“Space was allocated like a developer,” Lenz says. “We leveraged our merchant and brand connections, established categories and then created the collection of brands and strategic adjacencies.” The brands designed their spaces based on established lease lines and design criteria, and then submitted for approval. Each shop-in-shop is brand inspired.
The individual brands then outfitted their designated areas with their own visual merchandising and signature elements in order to provide shoppers with a sense of familiarity while capitalizing on their existing brand equity.
The layout of each area supports both independent and assisted shopping, creating a balance between luxury and accessibility, an atmosphere that encourages guests to indulge in the experience. The merchandising strategy in the featured departments was meant to provide flexible displays typically showcasing product on a lit or white background, allowing collections or exclusive products to be highlighted. The rounded sides on the cases in the watch and jewelry area invite guests to meander around, rather than feeling like they are walking behind something they shouldn’t.
The specialized retail expertise of Hudson Group made this distinctive shopping experience possible. The Atrium introduces a unique, curated retail experience to the Vegas market, and the team is excited about moving forward with more projects in Vegas in the future.
“This concept prompts guests to experience a culmination of ultimate luxury in a place where luxury is the common currency, and special treatment is the norm,” Lenz says. “The Atrium exceeds the expectations of those who are connoisseurs of upscale retail, blending the richness of traditional architecture with the minimalism of modern design. The striking elegance envelopes shoppers in a calm retreat from the chaos of the casino.”
The Atrium at The Palazzo
CONTRACT DESIGN FIRM
Big Red Rooster, a JLL company
Bogdan C. Cybulski
Shawmut Design and Construction
Acertus Consulting Group LLC (MEP engineering), Meyer Borgman Johnson (structural engineering)
Michael Fasang, Solid Details
BRAND SHOP FIXTURES/MILLWORK
High Country (Burberry), Permisteelia (Bally), Zordan (Ferragamo), Faubion (John Hardy), Wah Ngai Design (Dunhill), Paragon (MCM), Oldenburger Interior Products (Porsche), JPMA (Tumi), Global Design Solutions (Bond No. 9), Synergy (La Prairie), Hopes (Tom Ford, Jo Malone, La Mer, Estee Lauder, Clinique, Bobbi Brown, MAC)
37 Volts Light Studio
Charlie & Co. Lighting LLC
Transceramica, Davis Flooring Systems, Hamilton Parker (Caesar Ceramica USA, Incorporated Tile)
DL Couch, Koroseal
Bernhardt Hospitality, Bodhi Designs, Richardson Seating Corp., Jasper Chair Co., Arcadia
Solid Details, Shawmut Design and Construction
Knoll Textiles, Maharam, C.F. Stinson
Shawmut Design and Construction
Lea, Apaviza, Iris