Union Square Travel Agency Flies High Evoking Eero Saarinen’s TWA Flight Center
Architecture firm Leong Leong’s reference of Eero Saarinen’s TWA Flight Center at JFK Airport for the Union Square Travel Agency: A Cannabis Store is one sly nod to the pursuit and pleasure of flying high – a highly curated retail exhibition space leaning into the retro-futuristic details of Saarinen’s dynamic forms with stark monochromatic simplicity.
The 2,800-square-foot space operates not only as a place to peruse high-end cannabis products, but also functions as the brand’s “laboratory and refuge.” USQTA commissioned the architecture firm to design a space intended to educate customers about the use and properties surrounding cannabis. And thus Leong Leong created the 150-square-foot curvilinear Flower Lounge as the shop’s centerpiece, framing an assortment of flowers, accessories, and paraphernalia complemented by inset and brightly illuminated shelving, and digital kiosks.
A select layout of contemporary vitrines are stationed throughout to tempt curiosity, inviting customers to learn about the various scent compounds related to the plants’ signature terpenes. Afterward, the staff offers customer recommendations matching their sensory preferences.
An application of soft luminous light washes along the walls of the space, with the ambient glow. We cannot help but notice a few of our favorite cannabis-focused designs on their shelves.
Embedded in the walls and behind the checkout registers a 12-foot-long custom lighting element glows, slowly changing hues over time.
“The design intention for our new space is tranquil, cheeky, unexpected and approachable. Leong Leong has designed a surreal sanctuary that allows for a fun escape with a nod to retro-futurism,” says Arana Hankin-Biggers, President of USQTA.
If you happen to be in New York City and want to board the Union Square Travel Agency: A Cannabis Store, venture over to 835 Broadway at 13th St. Open seven days a week with hours from 9am-11pm Sunday thru Thursday and 9am-midnight during Friday and Saturday.