Lead Author(s): Catalin Filip
The one with the boxes
The one word that defines this proposal is fluidity. That is because basically, the whole project twirls around the longitudinal perforated walls, that start to get populated absolutely freely and in a flexible manner with modulated boxes hung against them. The boxes are held in place by copper bars shoved in the holes and maintained there through a rubber gasket within the hole. Consequently, the position of the boxes is chosen freely, depending either on a proposed design arrangement or special needs, according to the objects displayed.
Zoning-wise, the proposal attempts to mix the requested functions in a manner that they interact visually but in the same time do not interfere one with each other. Thus, the display area unfolds along one of the longitudinal walls, while the cafe and the bar populate the facing wall. A copper bar below the ceiling symbolically separates the cafe from the rest. The intermediate lower zone of the shop displays the clothing items, while the back part hosts another "boxed" wall and the counter where the payment is done.
In terms of flexibility, it is clear that the proposal permits countless possibilities of arranging the display modules. Moreover, the boxes that represent the coffee tables can be placed at a higher or lower levels, being used as a normal counter or as a bar-type one. In the same time, in case of workshops or events that employ free standing tables, the larger modules can be taken from the walls (or from the deposit) and arranged according to the needs.
Material-wise, the proposal attempts to incorporate the traditional materials that the shop promotes into a rather austere minimalist scenery. Thus, the design consists of a neutral background that highlights the displayed items. Consequently, the perforated walls are made of fiber cement cladding on a metallic structure, while the boxes consist of either of old wooden warm-grey planks and a copper frame that makes them rigid, or copper sheet. This way, the sensorial experience of the customer is enriched, by touching these two materials that have a great traditional value and heritage. Moreover, the concrete counter top creates a cold touching sensation opposed to the warmth of the old wood.
The translucent illuminated onyx back wall – as a perspective end - represents a visual focus point that, seen from the street, is meant to attract the passer by into the shop. Moreover, during the night, it lightens the entire space in a warm palette.
In terms of illumination, the display areas are diffusely lit by a custom made copper fixture that spreads along the wall. Meantime, the cafe has a more intimate lightning design, consisting of warm light spots that washes both the wall and the tables.