Situated in a small scale retail development north west of downtown Ann Arbor, Michigan, this retail store seeks to attract the current student population as well as the residents of new growing neighborhoods near the site.
The concept behind the design of this store was initially informed by an old map of Ann Arbor which depicted the original downtown roads and plots extending into the distance; a grid which formally and programmatically would go on to determine the future of Ann Arbor. This sparked an interest in a gridded landscape on the ceiling of the space which could create spaces for specific merchandising opportunities.
he axonemetric drawing at the left illustrates the how the beams on the the ceiling and the corresponding walls both divide the store spatially as well as programmatically. The architecture is directly supporting the different stories curated by the store's visual merchandising team.
In order to strengthen the architectural concept taking place on the interior, we extended the wood grid onto the storefront, allowing for a playful play of plaster, glass and wood. Despite this strong move, it felt necessary to further divorce our storefront from the existing architectural and structural design of the mall like the brick and screen. Details like the steel header and ‘side light’ were thus developed.
ne of our responsibilities as the design architects on a project is to keep in mind the critical details that need to be conveyed to the architects of record. One such detail for Ann Arbor involved the storefront where we introduced brass screws. The screws are both aesthetic and functional as they eliminate the need to blind nail the wood cladding and add a surprising detail the customer can appreciate.