Zimmer + Rohde Group

how to merge the identities of 8 distinct companies into one

D&D Building, NYC      Size: 11,500 SF      Type: Showroom Interior Design and Signage      Photography: Reven Wurman

Zimmer + Rhode Group

When TRA was asked to design the new “flagship” showroom for the Zimmer + Rhode Group, comprising of eight fabric companies, the challenge was to design a space that was at once one showroom but where the individual styles of the separate brands could be appreciated. The space had to be elegant and timeless, but also warm and inviting like FINE CLOTH, as the company philosophy states. Similarly to other spaces designed by the studio, such as Clicquot and PMG, the sinuous circulation is simultaneously pragmatic as well as it becomes the geometric structure and iconic image around which the design is built. The fluid circulation is infinite, the curved flow draws the customer as the space and the companies unfold, the circulation is the design generator.

The central island, hugged by the two major and thoroughly different mother companies Z+R and Travers, provides sequestered bays, defined by four foot thick walls, anchoring each individual brand and providing a degree of visual isolation and intimacy as well as connection. The central island is open to the coffered concrete structure beyond, carefully restored and tinted white, which, like an acoustical baffle, amplifies the abundant mixture of natural and artificial light.

The interior design, which relies on as few details as possible, (in the budget and design clarity interest) is like a canvas, where the fabrics add color and give character to each individual mini boutique (a strategy similar to the one employed by TRA at the Pearl River store, where the product makes the clean space truly oriental).The graphic program, which takes advantage of the multiple logos for decorative as well as practical purposes, was developed with Vignelli Associates.The light diffused materials include sandblasted mirror and colored glass panels, lacquered millwork, aluminum and American walnut flooring and furniture.

TRA was instrumental in the project delivery success, the entire process was completed in sixteen weeks, just in time for the fall design shows.


TRA brings a combination of architectural inventiveness and aestheticvision to its work. These characteristics also secure the firm design projects like the flagship showroom for the Zimmer Rohde Group in New York City's Decoration and Design Building. This project's main challenge was to physically and conceptually link display spaces of eight individual fabric companies. TRA settled on a design that would encourage movement, with softly curved walls to draw customs around the space while offering a necessary degree of intimacy for each brand. The interior program is spare and employs lacquered millwork, colored glass panels, and waInut flooring and furniture. The design's minimalism allows for what the firm calls "a canvas, where the fabrics add color and give character to each individual mini boutique."

New American Luxury Magazine, Well preserved, by Annie Fisher, November-December 11,