BLUE ROOM is an installation proposal that translates and complement the brand’s juxtaposition of soft silhouette and architectural lines in their work into the scale of the retail environment. We began with an idea about the insertion of a translucent lining that would contrast with the rectilinear envelope of the existing space and act as an atmospheric veil to separate and define areas for the display of merchandise. To connect the two geometries together, we devised a series of structural frames for the new surface that would continue onto the perimeter walls, floor and ceiling and translate into different elements, including shelving standards, clothing stands, and lighting. These linear frames act as seams that literally connect edges and create continuities across disparate surfaces. The materiality of the liner was envisioned as a stretchy translucent textile that would create atmospheric layers that allow a sense of discovery in what is essentially a very small space. We chose the fabric colors, a mid-range blue layered with a lighter blue, to literally convey a sense of atmosphere and to also recall an exotic environment that could be understood as water or sky, which might be particularly appropriate for resort wear, which we understand will be part of the collection on display. The form of the liner was intended to evoke a sense of an ephemeral shape or space like a wave or a cloud, and the shape and translucency has the ability to hold light and give it a volumetric quality. This surface could also be a place for image projections to convey an animated sense of atmosphere. The clothing display will be comprised of brushed aluminum standards and reclaimed wood planking that will be routed to provide a means for both shelving and hanging pieces. The changing room and cashwrap are enveloped in a second bi-directional wave that also leads back to the VIP room.
We plan to employ a combination of digital and analog fabrication techniques and a range of material effects to construct this installation. The structural ribs for the new surface are to be double-layer laser-cut plywood ribs with staggered joints. The two layers will be used to sandwich the fabric panels together to comprise the surface. The fabric panels will be constructed from a translucent nylon-spandex mesh in two contrasting layers. Fluorescent tube lights wrapped with colored cellophane will be mounted in linear configurations onto the existing walls, floor and ceiling. The raised floor will be a plywood platform with slots to house the fluorescent tube fixtures. We will use a CNC mill to create routed profiles in the shelving to allow for a variety of presentation options from standard linear arrangements to separately-spaced featured displays.
Design: Barker Freeman Design Office
Text: Alexandra Barker, AIA LEED AP