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“ Our goal for the store was to continue the impact of the T2:3D attraction and provide a seamless experience for the visitor. ”

AAD principal Michael Stevenson

Retail Store for the New Millennium
'About the different design/functions of T2:3D store'

Date: October, 1999
By: Unknown

A futuristic battle between man and machine serves as the theme of a new retail store designed by the Phoenix, AZ-based architectural and design firm AAD for Universal Studios Hollywood's new T2:3D attraction.

The attraction extends the humans versus machines story of the 1991 movie "Terminator 2: Judgment Day," combining live action with state-of-the-art three-dimensional movie technology. AAD designed the retail store to reflect the icons and mood of the "Terminator" experience and to literally capture visitors as they exit the attraction.

"Our goal for the store was to continue the impact of the T2:3D attraction and provide a seamless experience for the visitor," said AAD principal Michael Stevenson. "The merchandise strategy was designed to play off the emotion and excitement inspired by this unique attraction."

A full-size robot, the T-1000, confronts visitors as they enter the store. Flying mini "Hunter Killers" are suspended from the ceiling ready for battle. Throughout the store looms the logo of Cyberdyne, the company whose artificially intelligent machinery turns against humans causing mass mayhem. The store's merchandise, including logo-apparel, souvenirs and leather jackets worn by Arnold Schwarzenegger's character, appeals to visitors as a chance to walk away with a lasting momento of their post-apocalyptic journey.

According to Stevenson, designing retail venues for theme parks requires unique considerations from developing more traditional retail venues. "The flow through ride exit retail venues is critical," said Stevenson. "We need to slow people down as they enter the store so they experience the retail merchandise. At the same time, people who don't want to shop need to be able to smoothly exit the store. In ride exit retail you also have a shorter period of time to catch people's attention so merchandising plays a vital role."

AAD used several design elements to slow traffic flow, build anticipation and capture the customer's attention, including an elevation change and 180-degree turn upon entering the store and a major merchandise display at the store's entrance. As visitors exit the attraction they travel down a ramp, where they catch their first glimpse of the store and the retail merchandise awaiting them. Next they move through a 180-degree turn designed to prepare them for the store. Guests are then greeted by the dramatic T-1000, which is strategically positioned in front of a 16-foot wall of merchandise. All of these elements successfully entice customers to explore this exciting, futuristic retail world and purchase items that illustrate the "Terminator" experience.

Project Team:

Design and Construction Documents

  • AAD
    15425 N. Greenway-Hayden Loop
    Scottsdale, AZ 85260
    (602) 998-4200
    fax: (602) 998-7223


  • Morris Architects
    Culver City, CA

Lighting Design

  • Lighting Design Alliance
    Long Beach, CA

Cabinetry and Millwork

  • K & Z Cabinet Co.
    Ontario, CA

Creative Direction

  • Hyperline Design
    Cave Creek, AZ

General Contractor

  • C.W. Driver
    Los Angeles, CA
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Page last modified: April 24, 2012 | 11:49:27