Iconic Brand Returns to Wonder

What if we could take branded elements from a heritage space and translate them into truly imaginative experiences? What if historical architecture became the muse and inspiration for the revival of a familiar brand?


Creating dynamic environments for every customer has been a long-standing mission here at Chute Gerdeman; when it came to the FAO Schwarz project, our approach was no different. FAO Schwarz’s original aesthetic helped pave the course for our final designs; capitalizing on Rockefeller Center’s unique architecture, the space unfolds as the guest wanders deeper into the store, with surprises around every corner, introducing opportunities for palpable, unparalleled curiosity.

3..2..1.. Blast Off

From the Rockefeller Plaza entrance, kids of all ages will be transported to another world with FAO Schwarz’s newest icon, the Rocket Ship Staircase. Surrounded by classic plush creations, the Rocket Ship Staircase is the first cue that there’s more to discover upstairs.

It’s Playtime

A three-story, three-dimensional Clock Tower greets guests from the 49th Street entrance, inviting exploration up, through, around, and within. A portal to history, fantasy, wonder, and excitement, the Schwarz Clock Tower is equal parts creativity and ingenuity, showcasing timeless memories that build from the moment the guest takes their first step inside. With a nod to the deep history of the brand in New York and a wink to its future, the animated core feature to the space illuminates just how long the character of FAO Schwarz has influenced its shoppers.

Let’s Dance

Everyone remembers the classic “big piano” movie scene that takes place in the original FAO Schwarz. At the new FAO Flagship, play the piano like never before, with an audience on Rockefeller Plaza looking up at the fun! Positioned in the main window with views of the iconic ice skating rink, the new Grand Piano experience will delight a new generation of fans.

A Playhouse of Brands

To become the iconic destination of fun FAO Schwarz is known for, our design team created authentic areas for leaders in the toy industry to be displayed and engaged with. From LEGO and Build-A-Bear workshops, to Melissa & Doug grocery stores, merchandised Hatchimals and Paw Patrol play areas, and a Discovery zone for people of all ages. Our Architectural and Environments designers kept the overall journey cohesive; their innovative thinking created branded moments sure to stand out as defined areas of interaction and creativity for every toy-loving enthusiast.

More FAO Delight

Design that connects people to the world’s greatest brands.

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501 West Schrock Rd, Suite 201
Westerville, Ohio 43081

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