a store we could totally live in. we're talking austere, a new design concept store that has recently popped up in the fast-changing retail landscape of downtown los angeles. set up by fredrik carlström, a stockholm transplant from new york city, the store is located on the ground floor of a 1920s parking building with a beautifully restored art deco façade. occupying 4,800 sq.ft. [446 sqm.] spread over two floors, huge windows allow in floods of daylight, adding to the spacious store an exceptionally airy feel. as its name already implies, austere takes minimalism to the max.
carlström enlisted swedish design practice form us with love and the l.a. office of the guild to transform the premises. the interior has been stripped to reveal the building's beautiful concrete grid ceiling, offset by white-washed walls and pillars. the existing mezzanine floor has been enhanced by a playful new railing design. the banisters start out vertical on the left and as each panel progresses, they tilt a few degrees until it is horizontal on the far right. austere brings design for the initiated, but is on the other hand accessible enough for those who require a showroom crash course on what's good and relevant.
the store features the best examples of scandinavian design, from apparel items and furniture pieces, to design objects and utensils. classic pieces are mixed and matched with the latest innovations. needless to say, austere's brand list is as impressive as it is diverse, and includes names and brands such as alvar aalto, hasselblad, arne jacobsen, stutterheim and ilmari tapiovaara. next to being a retail space, austere also serves as a showroom and event space, and designers and companies at the cutting edge of design, fashion, beauty, hospitality, technology and entertainment will be regularly invited to showcase their very best on the premises. mind you, founding partner volvo is exhibitiing one of its newest models in the store. location: 912 south hill street [downtown]