The design of a spectacles shop by LAANK reflects the authenticity and craftsmanship of the bespoke products on offer.
25 August, 2017
Customers stepping into O+ would not be blamed for mistaking the spectacle shop for an art gallery, where beautifully crafted frames line the walls.
This elegant retail space was designed by LAANK – the studio behind the design of the Violet Oon F&B establishments and Bynd Artisan stationery boutiques. LAANK was tasked by O+ (a Singaporean brand that’s been designing and manufacturing bespoke frames for over twenty years) to create a store design reflecting their legacy and a retail experience that would set them apart from mass brands.
The bones of this shop in OUE Downtown Gallery were the perfect blank canvas, says Cherin Tan, co-founder of LAANK. It came with lofty ceilings, a large storefront and a clean, rectilinear footprint. Rather than proposing a conventional open space, Tan created several sections with grey felt-lined walls framed by lithe timber strips. The concept of ‘framing’ guides the store design through and through, enabling the creation of various retail experiences and focal points, highlights Tan.
At the storefront, wall panels provide an enticing peek-a-boo effect into the interior. The brand’s story is shared in two main display sections, each with a long table inspired by manufacturing workbenches in the centre framed by brass rods and pendants. The cashier and eye-testing rooms border the shop at both ends – the former adding a touch of sophistication with a generous marble counter.
Throughout, mirrors have been designed into the framing partitions, allowing customers to inspect their product choices in a subtle manner. Modular timber and white metal shelves allow flexibility in terms of visual merchandise, meaning a more controlled stock list. Meanwhile, light floods in through the glass walls from the exterior, creating a pleasant ambience and illuminating acetate panels on some of the walls. Their glowing brown and yellow patterns provide an unexpected yet delightful accent.
With the use of such materials, customers are immediately greeted by the brand’s craft heritage. Says Tan: “The space tells a story of production through the subtle use of raw production materials… Used together within the store, they reflect on the ideas of timelessness and longevity.” Indeed, with its bold lines, materials and fluid spatial programming encouraging ambulation and the noticing of details, LAANK has elevated the typically mundane process of shopping for the right frames into a journey of discovery.
Photography by Marc Tan / Studio Periphery
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