7-Sept-2016 A new optic store in the historic center of Guimarães, Portugal's cradle city, was the challenge posed by 'Novaóptica' for its high range product shop and optometry office. The proportions of the 72 square meter space intervened follow the typology of the surrounding historic buildings with a width ranging from 2.6 meters at the storefront to 4 meters at the middle space. Despite the historical weight of the place, the space had already been adulterated, with structural elements of concrete protruding from walls and ceiling.
The conceptual starting point was the creation of an undulating vertical element that covers all existing walls and reduces both the depth perception and physical limits of the store, in a unified and welcoming space. The curvilinear design of this element transforms and fits the needs of the different programatic zones, integrating the various functional elements. The storefront is the interface that mediates between the outer space and the interior of the store. Lacking storefront window width facing the street, it was designed so that it could use all the promenade from the exterior to the interior of the shop, extending formally into the exhibition panel inside.
The exhibition develops along the undulating panel on four levels, backlit through the opal acrylic base and from above by recessed LED strips, so as to highlight and enhance the product displayed. The different shelve shapes allow for differentiated usage and different arrangements by the seller. Underneath, dissimulated doors in the wave element hide the necessary storage drawers. In its conclusion, the panel involves the waiting area, half opening the passage to the office of optometry. The counter appears free in the middle of the shop, moulding itself to the sale's different timings: from easy passage for direct contact with the customer, to attending to the customer while standing, through to sitting instances supported by a cantilevered table.
All the shape and structure of the undulating panel was created by local woodwork masters using Mediumdensity Fibreboard (MDF), combining traditional building knowledge with 3D modelled drawings. In order to emphasize the sculptural character, all lighting is made by low energy LED strips recessed into the ceiling. The general perception is of a space that through its sinuous lines embraces and invites the visitor, offering a new approach to the optical shop.
19-Oct-2013 The Novaóptica optical store, is located in the historic city of Guimarães, Portugal. The intervention aims to create a unified space, inviting and warm, balancing the narrow storefront and longitudinal space constraints. The curvilinear lines allow to embed the program of the store into a single element that transforms itself according to the functional needs. The overall architectural concept merges the programatic and esthetical parameters into a single object.