For the first American branch of In-Sight, a popular concept store on Spain’s Balearic Islands, the Majorca-based firm Ohlab wanted to create a space in which the retail brand’s identity and that of its curated selection of art, design, and fashion products would not only coexist but reinforce each other. Located in Downtown Miami’s Brickell City Centre—a mixed-used mall by Arquitectonica—the 1,830-square-foot shop is an imaginative space that invites customers into an immersive experience through architecture rather than special digital effects.
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Coprincipals Jaime Oliver and Paloma Hernaiz, known for their straightforward yet surprising buildings and interiors, devised a plan using the company’s binocular-shaped logo to craft the spatial volume. They did this by digitally rotating its twin circular forms two dozen times, at 3¾ degrees a turn, until reaching a figure eight. The patterns created by each rotation were then laser-cut into 24 curved wooden panels that they installed in a tunnel-like progression from the front of the store to the back, drawing customers inward and creating a variety of multifunction display areas throughout. The cut edges of the resulting circular partitions are faced with white solid surfacing, a material that is both “easy to apply with precision to curved geometry and resilient enough for high traffic,” says Oliver.
Ohlab’s resourceful design provides a blank canvas for In-Sight’s varied merchandise, and responds to the programmatic needs of the client with different types of flexible displays, seating areas, fitting rooms, and storage. Additionally, the ambient lighting system, a series of custom-designed platforms above the curved panels, has integrated swivel spots that illuminate the pristine interiors imperceptibly and easily adapt to the requirements of changing product installations.
Both playful and urbane, the new In-Sight store holds its own among the long-established, upscale retailers at the Brickell City Centre—a factor influencing the potential development of future locations by Ohlab. According to Hernaiz, one of the firm’s fundamental concepts was reinforced by the project’s successful outcome. “Shopping can no longer be about the simple display of products. It must be a memorable, physical experience where the customer is engaged with the brand and its lifestyle.”
OHLAB, Calle Manuel Guasp 6A 07006 Palma (Spain), +34 971 919 909, www.ohlab.net
Personnel in architect's firm who should receive special credit:
Paloma Hernaiz and Jaime Oliver with Rebeca Lavín, Rosa Fuentes, Amaia Barazar, Manuela Sánchez, Silvia Morais, Luzia Butnariu, Amalia Stavropoulou , Sandra Wereszka
HVAC: Centro de Montajes