Defining Retail Cannabis
The discovery process balanced our client’s day-to-day retail needs with their brand vision. For us, and Swade, the learning process never stopped. Their team weighed in at every stage, helping us define the flow and function of the space from design through construction, which firmly positioned Swade as the high-end market leader.
This project represented a rare and exciting opportunity to both design a space for a brand not yet established, and to develop retail and brand space concurrently—allowing the design of one to inform that of the other. Partnering with Swade Cannabis, we designed elevated dispensaries with a calm, welcoming atmosphere inspired by nature. Using custom, thoughtful design, we brought multiple distinct locations together into a unified whole.
Balancing Luxury and Approachability
We curated a minimal, neutral palette of steel, wood, glass and concrete to create an understated backdrop, allowing the retail products to take center stage. Thoughtful custom detailing further differentiates the space and emphasizes the high-end brand.
As visitors flow through the space, they’re met with Doug Fir in many forms: rough timber, milled slats, vertical grain veneer and finally, veneer panels, which were saved for the loose product room — the dispensary’s equivalent of a jewel box.
Dispensaries require extensive security measures, which can be overbearing and uninviting. To maintain a comfortable atmosphere, we used a selection of clear and textured glass to visually connect spaces while meeting privacy needs.
Historic Church Adaptive Reuse
This complex renovation of a long-abandoned derelict church was informed by the history of the building and its existing features––such as the colorful terrazzo floor and brass-accented signage, flooring and lighting that deliberately recalls the building’s original purpose. Custom-perforated display panels were mounted over existing windows to allow natural light inside while still providing ample display space.
INDUSTRIAL WAREHOUSE CONVERSION
For this dispensary in a former warehouse, we remained true to its industrial origins by exposing some interior brick, stone and steel––while emphasizing the expansive openness of the space with new steel beams stretching the width of the building, and layers of glass to allow natural light to flourish. Select color was deployed to enliven the Swade brand palette and give the location a unique local vibe.
ANTIQUE ROW RENOVATION
This contemporary twist on a dilapidated, empty building on Antique Row created a dialogue between modern and historical. Original transom windows we discovered during demolition inform the facade and provide natural light, while meeting security and privacy requirements. Further, we added a surprising intervention in the context of Antique Row: a diagonal set-back to provide weather protection for customers and a glimpse of the reception.
Swade’s locations in St. Peters and Ellisville were slotted into strip malls adjacent to high-traffic streets. To stand out from the unremarkable surroundings while balancing privacy concerns, we commissioned a series of window graphics and completed a new facade.
Photography by Aaron Bunse