Crocs Flagship Retail Store

ALPOLIC® | Metal Composites Materials en tant que MCM Facade.


When you’re building a flagship footwear store in the heart of one of the world’s great fashion cities, you’d better make a statement with the architecture. If the footwear is Crocs, the right statement is comfortably colorful and fun.

While best known for brightly colored foam-resin clogs favored by chefs, nurses and others who spend long hours on their feet, in recent years Crocs has introduced dozens of new styles with an eye toward fashion. From boots and boat shoes to heels and wedges suitable for nightwear, Crocs is reinventing classic designs while staying true to its founding principle that comfort comes first.

So it’s appropriate that Crocs built its highest-profile location at Herald Square in midtown Manhattan, just west of the Empire State Building. It’s a shopping destination without the pretense of Madison Avenue, but definitely with its own comfortable and accessible sense of class.

Enticing Customers with Design To proclaim the store’s presence and give a sense of the fun variety of styles inside, Crocs asked TPG Architecture to create a striking new façade as part of its new design for the 13,600 square-foot space previously occupied by a trio of fast food restaurants.

The façade’s design represents the profile of a classic Crocs clog, incorporating ALPOLIC® panels in the company’s iconic green set off by contrasting panels in a bright yellow. A narrow band of black ALPOLIC® material sets off the two colors and adds definition to the “shoe,” while cutouts fitted with clear globes and backlit in variable colors evoke the ventilation holes that are fundamental to the Crocs cachet. And if a passersby somehow still misses the message that this is the world’s center of the Crocs experience, full-length windows on the ground level reveal a giant Statue of Liberty mosaic made entirely of Crocs, while a second-story window can be used to display a variety of enticements – for example, a huge blue Croc.

It’s definitely a statement: Crocs belongs in the heart of New York, and you should come in right now and find out why.

Solving Design Challenges Kenneth J. Herman, Inc. was selected as the fabricator for the façade as well as for interior details such as cladding on columns. Vice President Mike Dell’Olio, recalls that the architect provided drawings of the façade, but left it up to the fabricator to custom-design the implementation. “It’s a crazy design, very conceptual in nature,” he explains. “It required extensive custom work, beginning with a custom color match to Crocs green.”

Getting the custom color was easy. Although ALPOLIC® materials are often color matched to a physical sample, in this case the fabricator simply submitted the Pantone value for Crocs green. A sample in that color was provided, and upon approval the full order was painted with Valspar’s Valflon coating using an advanced die coating process. With a relatively short lead time, the custom-painted panels were delivered on time to meet the project’s fabrication and construction schedule.

Dell’Olio explains, “They have their own die coating line, and they prep the paint and coat the material right there in Chesapeake, Virginia. So getting custom colors matched with ALPOLIC® Materials is easy.”

While the colors and short lead time were easy for the experts at ALPOLIC®, fabricating the panels to achieve the architect's design was more of a challenge. “It was all custom joinery and we had to work out the attachment details.” With challenges like the black border and dozens of cutouts for the light fixtures, Dell’Olio says, “It all has to fit. The panel has a hole in it, and there’s a globe attached to the panel, and that fits over a pattern of light fixtures behind it. So there are two different teams working on this – you’ve got an electrician who’s putting up the light fixtures, then we have to come in and fit a panel over the light fixtures.”

The perfect fit was accomplished by waiting until the electrical installation was complete, creating a template based on the actual position of the light fixtures, and then using the template to mill the cutouts on a CNC machine back at the fabrication plant. The panels were mounted using a route and return gasketed dry seal system.

Making it Look Easy The results speak for themselves – and for the ingenuity of Kenneth J. Herman fabricators. We’re proud that fabricators dedicated to the highest quality in complex installations rely on ALPOLIC® materials. As Dell’Olio remarks, “We use ALPOLIC® panels everywhere. It’s our primary business.”

Crocs Flagship Storefront

Sherwin-Williams Coil Coatings en tant que Coatings provider.

In the Toronto suburb of Mississauga, developers Fernbrook Homes and Cityzen Development Group set out to bring added character to a downtown project. Their Absolute City Center development was a master-planned community that already included three high-rise condo towers, topping out at 36 stories. But for the project’s fourth tower, the developers were looking for a novel design.

Making their debut in the mid-2000s, Crocs redefined footwear fashion, melding comfort and style into shoes that can be seen on millions of feet around the world. As Crocs grew in popularity, so did their array of styles and accessibility. The company began focusing not only on its classic sandal design, but also on new styles like boots, shoes, heels and more. With its brand expanding, Crocs decided to invest in a flagship New York City store that captured the flair and originality the company is known for.

Crocs teamed up with TPG Architects to design a bold new exterior for its 13,000-square-foot space, nestled in the heart of Manhattan just west of the Empire State Building. The final product is a quintessential Crocs look, incorporating the company’s trademark bright colors with backlit, clear globes to create a shoe-like storefront, complete with its very own set of Crocs’ signature ventilation holes.

“It’s a crazy design, very conceptual in nature,” said Mike Dell’Olio, sales and marketing manager at Kenneth J. Herman Inc., the fabricator of the metal paneling. “It required extensive custom work, beginning with a custom color match to Crocs green.”

To create the stunning surface of the structure and capture the vibrant colors of Crocs’ green and yellow, 4,341 square feet of ALPOLIC fire-retardant 4mm metal panels were painted with Sherwin-Williams Valflon coating, which uses an advanced die coating process. To achieve the custom Crocs green color, Dell’Olio supplied the Pantone value and Sherwin-Williams laboratory was able to perfectly match the coating for the company’s new storefront.

Sherwin-Williams Valflon coating was selected to adorn the metal due to its vivid finish that will uphold its integrity for years to come.  Additionally, the coating has excellent color cohesion and adhesion, and offers resistance to airborne chemicals, acid rain and most cleaning solvents used to vanquish graffiti.

The project was finished by assembling the paneling to meticulously fit each globe light blub — a task requiring the expertise of both an electrician and the Kenneth J. Herman, Inc. team who worked together to install the light fixtures and fit a panel over them.


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