LUXOTTICA

The pleasures of window shopping come from the permission given to look and take in an object of desire without commitment to it. The space of the window shopper is discreet, allowing sideways glances and reflected views of others and self and an unhurried gaze.

The store concept builds on this transient phenomenon, inviting the shopper to continue seamlessly into the shop, as one might pass along a street or urban market. The fixtures are conceived as elements which choreograph continuously evolving movement: branching, converging, slipping, pausing, never locked or fixed or intimidating. Thresholds become fluid, multiple; crossing them is unselfconscious.

The fixtures hinge creating corners, inside pockets of space, places of punctuation and equilibrium; slowing movement and focusing attention on the beautiful objects moving in and out of view.
The larger gesture of the shop is open and non-hierarchical, welcoming from all directions, all shoppers, including the determined, the wandering, and the impulsive. Immediately upon entering, an organizational structure can be intuited by clues and cues. All fixtures form continuous spaces which meet at the style bar, the anchor of the shopping experience. By providing the highest level of service and expertise, the style bar sets the tone for the shopper befitting the Bloomingdales experience. The programming of the shop is intended to be seamless; for example the fixtures morph from display to style bar, punctuated by a constellation of lighting overhead, and the cash wrap is conceived as an extension of a fixture. Wayfinding is foregrounded by entry podiums and branding pylons at the ends of each fixture. The curious shopper quickly finds their style, identifying with the pylons and selecting from a range of vignettes in each of the cupped spaces formed by the hinged geometry.

The store is intended to be experienced as a total spatial condition. The ceiling is conceived to cohere space, to dissolve figure/ground distinction, so that fixtures are not perceived only as objects in space, but are instead experienced as part of a coherent spatial phenomenon. The ceiling reflects the floor plan, expressing the fixtures as slotted voids. With simple folds the ceiling gently undulates the space of the store. At the edges the folds realign to meet and rejoin the continuum of the larger space of Bloomingdales.

A precise curatorial atmosphere pervades the shop, as limited pairs of glasses are offered for display and closer examination. A further slowing and pause sharpens focus and invites storytelling. What are these about? Are they for me? Am I for them? Behind glass, and beyond playful surfaces, more eyewear beckons; intrigue is suggested around each corner. Window shopping continues but now out is in and the shoppers find themselves picking up a pair of glasses that had casually caught their eye.

The shop is designed to weave experiences, to go beyond a static subject/object state. Associates are participants and guides; shelves literally weave product and space. Even the style bar allows a connection between sides, not insistently but invitingly. Space and floor area are thought of as woven and overlapped, so each customer is always experiencing multiple lapped transparent spatial experiences, deepening the intrigue and sophistication of the store.

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