10 years ago, this project would have not been possible. First, because there was no social and cultural awareness like today. Second, because the market was not developed enough for a brand to take risks and change its approach from a virtual store, to a product and identity based shopping experience.
PIRANHA © is a well known brand for the technical and quality characteristics of its indoor growth products. Historically, the relationship between the brand and its clients has been mediated by internet or brokered by third parties (other stores). To transit from a virtual or third party brokered relation into a direct, physical, first hand interaction between the brand and its customers is taken as an opportunity to design an experience around the identity, products and ethos of PIRANHA ©.
An "approach strategy" is generated, between the customer and the store, through architecture. The exterior is a neutral, simple facade, interrupted by a wide showcase that far from exposing products, it seeks to seduce people appealing to the senses and curiosity. The Showcase is double sided, 1,15mts deep, and it hosts and "impossible landscape" that can be changed and renewed periodically.
Before entering the store, there is a hall, an intermediate gallery, frequent typology of the shops around the area. This exterior hall allows people to approach the store and explore the products and offers without being exposed or compromised. No matter the cultural acceptance, there is still an stigmatizing burden in these particular products, that people may choose to avoid. The architecture understands and includes this idea in the simple but efficient gesture of generating this intermediate space between the street and the shop interior.
Once inside, the double high center vault is occupied with three custom made wooden modules that exhibit the small sized products such as seeds and other paraphernalia. This space is one in which clients can have direct access to products. These are exposed in the designed modules, treated as "objects of desire", as one would do with jewels, or expensive watches for example.
Towards the east wall, facing the showcase, a long counter is positioned, allowing all the transactional actions required by the store such as payment, customer services, product delivery, etc. This counter, through its size and shape, seems to be holding the mezzanine over the entrance. This second floor is used as administrative offices and conveniently opens over the two stories high center space, dominating the place and situations.
Overall, the store offers an experience that is far from the marijuana consumption apologia, instead it tries to uplift the discussion to one where the technical excellence, scientific knowledge an quality products may be recognized as ethos of the PIRANHA© identity