The Shops at La Cantera is a 1.3-million-square-foot upscale, outdoor regional shopping center at the edge of the Texas Hill Country in north San Antonio, anchored by Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, Dillard’s and Macy’s. This open-air marketplace is designed to blend the pedestrian-friendly plan of a regional mall with the ease of use of a lifestyle center in a distinctive, landscape-focused environment.
Created as a prototype idea for future development of regional-scale outdoor centers by General Growth Properties, the architectural design attempts to address both modern environmental concerns about land use and nature conservancy and changes in shopping patterns that have evolved over the last decade.
Our approach to the project identity and environmental graphics program for the center reflects this emphasis on the natural environment in its use of native materials and fabrication details drawn from the local culture, as well as the incorporation of nature imagery throughout the system.
fd2s involvement in the project included helping the developer to refine and articulate the project’s brand position, developing an identity and related visual vocabulary that supports this position, and then working with the project architect to create a relevant and engaging retail experience. Our role in shaping this experience included the design and documentation of environmental elements ranging from wayfinding signage and seasonal pageantry to architectural enhancements like paving patterns and wall treatments.