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John Schmid to Present at Upcoming GlobalShop Conference

Updated: Mar 3, 2018

SHOP! | March 29, 2018

A Storied Past: Creating Contemporary Retail Spaces in Historic Districts


How does one open up a new location for a contemporary brand in a historic district? How can one update dilapidated structures to today’s standards, merging old aesthetics with modern expectations? And, perhaps most importantly, how does one make sure this location stays within neighborhood guidelines without losing recognizable branding signage and signifiers? Without community involvement, the process may be painstaking. However, if you collaborate with, rather than fight, historic commissions, a compromise can be reached that satisfies all parties, reinvigorating the site and reinforcing brand presence. John Schmid, the restaurant and retail Studio Director, at award-winning architecture firm MBH Architects, will discuss the recent work on the Peet’s Coffee & Tea, an established national brand with more than 50 years of its own history in Washington D.C.’s historic Georgetown neighborhood. Using this case study as a jumping off point, attendees will learn about how to work with historical and community groups to reach thoughtful compromises on retail design that actually strengthen brand voice, marrying contemporary design with storied pasts.

Learning Objectives

1. Provide insights into working with historical and community commissions, addressing their concerns and involving them in the project. 2. Teach attendees how to maximize use of different brand signifiers to maintain brand presence and voice in historic districts. 3. Identify tips for working with old and deteriorating structures so they are reinvigorated for the community. 4. Discuss how to create sleek, modern spaces that match, and surpass, the look and expectation of the community they serve.


John Schmid

Senior Associate, Studio Director (Restaurant & Retail Design)

John Schmid is a Studio Director for MBH Architects' Restaurant and Retail Design Studio, working on a day-to-day basis to effectively manage client relations and in-house teams. His experience in retail architecture began with 14 years at Gap Inc., where he worked from drafter to project manager, and developed an indispensable knowledge of the client-side of the architectural relationship. Schmid has a keen understanding of the mechanics, workflow and lines of communication required to operate a smoothly running retail account. He now manages a number of important retail and restaurant clients such as Target, Kona Grill, Yard House and Earl’s.

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