Vancouver, British Columbia
2008 / Complete / Commercial / Renovation / 1,750 ft2
- IDIBC Award of Excellence, Best of Show, 2008
- IDIBC Award of Excellence, Gold, 2008
- Design Exchange Awards, Award of Merit, 2008
This project involved the renovation and re-branding of an established high-end carpet retailer.
As an alternative to the conventional carpet store model—several piles of rugs arranged to create narrow circulation pathways between—the new showroom is organized according to the spatial geography of the theatre as a means to create an exclusive and memorable retail experience for customers. A 35-foot-long raised platform creates the ‘stage’ where individual hanging rugs slide out from their holding positions to be showcased to the viewer. A backdrop of warm white walls allows the colour, quality, and unique craftsmanship of each rug to boldly speak. Three carefully-aligned, box-like benches provide seating for customers as they are engaged in the theatrical presentation. Inset into the seating plane of each bench is a digital LCD panel which tells a story of each rug by means of ever-evolving slide show presentations; incisions in the opposite end create slots for magazines and catalogues.
The wall across from the main ‘stage’ was furred out to conceal a projecting column and services, and then carved out to frame a large, floor-to-ceiling, hanging rug. A long, narrow teak counter built into the wall provides viewing areas for catalogues and product samples. A 10′-6″ high teak rug storage unit separates the main formal showroom from the rest of the space, conceptually conceived as ‘backstage.’ This zone houses the business office, associated storage, a lunch room, additional rug inventory and display.
The overall linear geometry of the space is accentuated by a series of subtle reveals which lend a clarity and articulation to the individual materials. The programmatic elements of the space are clearly defined and distinguished from one another by physical separations between materials. The lighting scheme further accentuates these spatial volumes with a play of light and shadow.
- Photography / Wendy Niamath