Optic store in Toronto features elements that resonate “the rounded shape of the eye”

The goal for Finch Avenue Optometry was to create a unique retail showroom with discrete offices in North Toronto. The project began in July 2012 and opened to the public in July 2013. Taking cues from the new building’s black brick exterior and its rotund west corner, Bortolotto created an interior concept that plays on themes of contrast, perception, light and the rounded shape of the eye.

Upon entering the showroom, clients are immediately drawn to a prominent ocular ceiling offering the glamour of a chandelier. Inspired by the mechanics of the eye and depth of field, eight concentric rings cascade downwards, each defined by recessed white RGB LED lights, culminating in a mirrored center like the pupil of an eye. This sculptural form imbues the space with an organic presence, while also illuminating the interior.

White and luminous with sparkling black accents, the 2,260 s.f. double-height retail showroom and waiting area is defined by an understated luxury. A curvilinear wall encircles the interior – its upper story cut with a band of windows, drawing daylight into the heart of the showroom.

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Below, custom-crafted white lacquer shelving, with recessed LEDs, transmits a clean and pure light, creating the ideal setting for trying on eyeglasses. The adjacent sunglasses area glows with backlit glass shelving, ideal for testing shades.

Throughout, the displays maintain a clean and cohesive appearance, despite the daily shuffle of product or change of merchandise. The shelves are designed to unify their contents so that the shapes, sizes and colours of the glasses never overwhelm clients.

Polished white Cambria stone tile flooring unifies with a feeling of purity while also heightening the light levels within the interior.

Furniture takes on a sculptural appearance – comfortable, rotund, leather chairs in neutral colours blending with the overall concept, and black granite tables accenting the space. Flat-screen monitors, incorporated into the wall, make the interior multi-dimensional, and add further luminosity and dynamism to the store.

“Patients come in and are pleasantly surprised at the openness, the brightness, and the clean look and feel of the space. I have had comments like it feels like a museum and that I never would have expected it to look like this on the inside,” commented the client.

Architect: Bortolotto, Toronto, Canada Project Location: 244 Finch Avenue West, Toronto Ontario Size: 210 m2, 2 260sf Architectural Team: Tania Bortolotto, Jerry Lin Contractor: DeFavari, Project Supervisor: Mike Bozzelli Photography Credit: Tom Arban

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