Eye Eye

Eye Eye

Architect
Best Practice Architecture and Design
Location
Seattle, Washington, USA
Project Year
2017
Category
Shops
Rafael Soldi

Making its home in an existing brick building in Seattle’s bustling Capitol Hill neighborhood, Eye Eye seeks to playfully reflect the image of the street and that of the patron trying on eye wear. This clinic was designed for an Optometrist who desired to have a retail space adjacent to his clinic for the convenience of his patients. Using the knowledge gleaned from optics and optometry, the design team deliberately aimed to toy with perception and reflection as you move through the space, giving the visitor multiple viewpoints simultaneously.


The original concept evolved to incorporate a series of powder-coated steel frames which march rhythmically through the space. Clad with a mixture of custom eye glass display boxes and mirrored surfaces, the spaces created by the frames allow the viewer to try on eye wear and see themselves from many angles con currently in their own private viewing gallery. This central object also directs the visitor toward the rear LENS, or mirrored wall that functions much like the lens of your eye (refracting light and focusing it on the retina), and leads to the exam room. One enters the exam room through the pivoting mirrored door, and is greeted with a warm and inviting space clad with white oak cabinets. Intended to be a relief from the more minimal retail zone, the cozy exam room contains a mixture of new and colorful, vintage optometry equipment and has space for several different types of testing.


Originally completed in 2015, Eye Eye was able to expand into the neighboring store front space in 2017, adding a reception desk, lounge, accessible restroom & pre-exam testing, exam room, as well as new retail display during a second phase.The new addition complements the original scheme with a neutral, double height interior volume (North facing) in which to layout both the clinic and retail display for eye wear. Old and new sides of the project where connected with a series penetrations in the demising wall, with both a stair and ramp linking the floor levels.The resulting combination of reflected and punched views creates a nintriguing and layered experience as one moves through the space.


The new addition incorporates a more robust reception area with a large desk that can accommodate several staff. While one area of reception is geared towards welcoming patients and transactions, the other side portion is devoted to the fitting and sizing glasses. The desk was designed with a wood wrapper to balance the need for patient privacy, but remain open and inviting. Cabinetry from the existing side wraps around the demising wall to create file storage for the desk as well as an integrated sofa in the new lounge area. A mirrored display clads the East wall of the new space, recalling the framed display on the existing side,and uses the same detail for attaching the acrylic boxes to the supports.


The existing mezzanine was enlarged to create more storage and space for staff.Accessed from the existing stair, the mezzanine extends over the space to create aprivate pre-exam room on the main level. This dark volume was the perfect placeto locatea gold foil mural depicting a super-sized version of an optometrist's concentric circle test.

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