Casa Palacio: A New Retail Concept Store in Mexico City

By Johanna Björk
In mid-April, home emporium Casa Palacio opened its doors in Mexico City. Designed by NYC-based retail architect Jeffrey Hutchison, the space is designed to make shoppers feel like they are at the home of a friend (with great taste) rather than in a shop, even though the space covers three floors and 60,000 square feet.

To give the store an intimate feel, Hutchison and his team created three distinct areas to divide the space.

The store's entrance includes a three-story facade with vertical wood slats and glass storefront.

The store's entrance includes a three-story facade with vertical wood slats and glass storefront.

The entrance to the first of these experiences suggests a grand market, similar to those found in Mexico or Europe, but with contemporary twists. A modern wood lattice structure creates a canopy for small shops and provides a strong architectural contrast against more traditional elements like tile and iron columns. A fireplace in the center of the market creates a visual link to hearth and home.

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The mansion entry hall includes a large staircase that allows the customer to meander through multiple floors.

The mansion entry hall includes a large staircase that allows the customer to meander through multiple floors.

After the market, patrons emerge on to a "street" flooded with natural light and lined with houses of various architectural styles, including two modern buildings that pay homage to Mexican architect Luis Barragán. The retail spaces are located inside these houses, and the merchandise is chosen to match the style of its building. This allows the customer to envision objects in a suitable home environment and connect with the product in a more emotional way.

Inside the mansion, each room displays a furniture collection that coordinates with the home's architectural style.

Inside the mansion, each room displays a furniture collection that coordinates with the home's architectural style.

"It’s exciting to be working on our first project in burgeoning Mexico City as well as be at the helm of a unique home store concept worldwide," says Hutchison. "We have designed a shopping environment where customers feel transported and can see themselves using products in their own homes or even envision a new home."

Upon entering the store, the customer is transported into a busy market, much like those in Mexico, where he or she can purchase food products, housewares, utensils, etc. The space is brought up to date through the scupltural wood canopy that moves the eye toward the center of the space.

Upon entering the store, the customer is transported into a busy market, much like those in Mexico, where he or she can purchase food products, housewares, utensils, etc. The space is brought up to date through the scupltural wood canopy that moves the eye toward the center of the space.

Casa Palacio carries products from over 60 brands, including SubZero, Miele, Hediard, Fortnum & Mason, Ralph Lauren Home, Frette, Etro Home, Loro Piana, Bose, Sony, Samsung, Artemide, La Table Hermes, Baccarat, Christofle, MoMA, Assouline, and Rizzoli.