The Sanctuary is the third collaboration between adidas and CNCPTS. Conceived and designed by the Sid Lee and Sid Lee Architecture team, The Sanctuary is discreetly nestled in the basement of one of Boston’s oldest commercial streets at 73 Newbury Street. More than a store, it’s a place of worship, where fans can gather, revere the gear, and gear up with some of the most limited drops, iconic kicks and merchandise from adidas x CNCPTS.
“The space and context was very inspiring to us, truly representative of Boston. It’s on Newbury, a posh street and district, but it’s below, almost underground. We wanted to ensure that the Boston spirit and tension permeate the space. The chosen content, materials, and location pay homage to the city’s palpable and cultural contrasts—raw meets refined; edgy meets polished; Beacon Hill meets Roxbury,” Martin Leblanc, Architect, Senior Partner, Sid Lee Architecture.
The 1,200 sq.ft. space was designed with modular thresh-holds for discovery, pause, and awe. Fans descend through the liberation tunnel chamber, walk and pause through a field of discoveries, and in temple-like fashion, finally arrive at the space of celebration.
The minimalist aspect of the store spotlights the product, Sid Lee Architecture used light, reflective surfaces and glass arches to create these pockets of discovery. Product is displayed and supported by subtle metal fasteners, the shoes seem to float on the raw walls of brick and concrete. Glass and mirror sculptures present the merchandise from unprecedented angles and modify their traditional perceptions.
Sid Lee designed an exclusive pattern for the concept as entry and archway, inspired by the interlocking of both brands. The space also introduced special interactive mirror boxes designed by artist Jordan Sodenberg Mills whose work can typically be seen in galleries around the world (Victoria and Albert Museum, Blythe House, Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes), but never before in a retail space.
“We really wanted this concept to be special for fans and especially limited edition fans that have seen it all. We asked CNCPTS, what have you never seen before that would blow your mind! They said, “if we could somehow make the shoes float!”
So, guess what? We made the shoes float! In a concept like SANCTUARY, what’s more appropriate than that?” says Elana Gorbatyuk, SVP Strategy, and Partner at Sid Lee.