This beautifully redesigned retail space puts fashion forward

To increase market share, Bellissima underwent a rebranding and approached us to assist with translating their branding vision across their 12 stores. We were tasked with creating a boutique shopping experience that would improve foot traffic for a better flow through the space, encourage impulse purchases, and attract a younger demographic while maintaining their existing clientele. 

Interior Designer: Jerilyn Wright, ARIDO
Design Firm: Jerilyn Wright & Associates Interior Design Consultants Ltd.
Photographer: Caleb Salomons

Our strategy was to tour the existing stores and analyze them based on a branding and design viewpoint from the customer’s perspective. We looked at three areas; Store Front and Entry Experience, Merchandise Floor Experience, and Transaction Functionality. 

We found the impression upon entry to be underwhelming and cluttered as the store fronts and transactions area had no branding and were quite disorganized. There was little flow through the store layout which often resulted in circulation struggles. Change rooms lacked a seating area and were typically dimly lit, and the lighting throughout was harsh and not flattering. 

The client wished to  attract a younger demographic so we decided the word Bellissima should be removed from the front of the store and replaced with a more updated and youthful commissioned art piece featuring the letter “B” surrounded with flowers. The branding was carried through into the store with color application, bags, and wrapping paper. 

We utilized natural materials and artistic touches along with comfortable, homely vignettes throughout the space to create an inviting boutique shopping experience. To encourage foot traffic through the entire store, we purposefully located a very large custom ceiling graphic in the centre to visually draw the customers in.

Uninterrupted track lights were placed along the ceiling which were meant to mimic a fashion “catwalk” and direct the customers into the depths of the store, while illuminating the merchandise.

To create a consistent design concept that can be adapted to all the store locations, we designed custom racking that allows for feature displays and showcasing accessories. The middle panels also function as a display backdrop where a mannequin, or featured products can be showcased at each end.

The partitions are duplicated on the store walls and can be fitted with shelves for display if required. This custom racking system also provides slightly obstructed views to encourage the shopper to venture deeper into the store and explore, thus increasing circulation and time spent browsing. 

The change rooms and soft cozy seating at the back of the store also draw people back to this area. Various vignettes that function as displays for jewelry and clothing, like the mid century style wooden dressers and lounge areas, are tucked among the merchandise throughout in an effort to increase impulse purchases while mimicking an inviting, home-like environment.

The philosophy behind the design was to ensure the store was approachable, welcoming, and accessible to all. With the application of the new design, the redesigned location sales have far exceeded the other unrenovated locations, while maintaining their longtime customers, and attracting a younger, more diverse demographic.

Body and mind are the core of this elevated fitness experience

Exercise is more than just a physical journey, it’s a psychological one too. This was the philosophy behind the design of The Current to create a multifunctional fitness centre worthy of the commute to the office at CIBC SQUARE. This high-intensity multi-studio fitness concept is meant to resonate with the mind and body of gym goers through deep experiential engagement.

Interior Designer: Annie Bergeron, ARIDO
Design Firm: Gensler
Photographer: Ban Rahn

Entry pavilion clad in a fluted wood accent, refreshment bar, and lounge area.

With CIBC SQUARE employee health and well-being top of mind, The Current fitness centre is  conveniently located on their campus and offers all the amenities of a typical fitness centre and much more. The goal was to create an elevated fitness centre experience with state-of- the-art equipment and fitness offerings, with the added feature of a lounge where employees would want to gather for fitness, sport, and wellness events.

One of the main goals of this project was to translate the psychological journey of exercising into a space that inspires gym goers in a sensory way. It is meant to aid them on their journey of renewal;  from entering the gym, to digging deep to push through a workout, and eventually celebrating the euphoria of their achievement. 

lobby features an intimate lounge with maple wood in comination with black for a modern feel and colourful commissioned artwork

We managed to elevate the fitness experience by creating a light-filled, loft-like interior, conjuring a palette of warm wood, a calming monochromatic simplicity, and sweeping views of roof-top greenery and the city beyond.  With this approach we created a welcome retreat from the everyday pressures and the hustle of the city.

The entrance into The Current is via a reception on the fifth floor, directly off the elevator lobby – a ‘world before’ that manifests as an entry pavilion clad in a fluted wood accent, refreshment bar, and lounge area. Here, the material palette aims to embody the perfect meld of the modern urban feel while saluting the pristine natural elements of Canada’s wilderness. 

Entry pavilion clad in a fluted wood accent, refreshment bar, and lounge area.

The lobby features an intimate lounge with maple wood – traditionally utilized as gymnasium flooring – used here as wall covering and wrapping onto the ceiling. Black, white, and shades of grey give the interior an industrial, modern feel while the custom art commission by Canadian artist Erin Loree sparingly introduces a shot of colour and her painterly style evokes movement and vibrant energy. 

Offices for member services are housed within glass-walled rooms that are highly accessible. Patrons transition through the gym and into the velvety dark grey changing rooms. This marks the transition to the ‘world within’. Black runs heavily throughout the studio, intended to provide a contrast to the light maple wood and provide a modern feel in the space.

Large open exercise space with views of the city through large windows

The lighting fixtures throughout are hung on the diagonal to  create a vibrancy while a custom-designed ombre wallpaper gradient goes from dark to light in the open workout area adding a sense of energy and movement. 

ombre wallpaper gradient goes from dark to light in the open workout area

The gradient not only serves to draw the eye up to accentuate the dramatic ceiling height but it is also meant to act as a visual metaphor. As members move through their psychological journey of exercising, the sense of the energy rising inspires the individual, invoking the drive to  keep working.

Another closed in exercise room

The elemental geometry of the building’s exterior form inspired the herringbone patterned floor which lines up with the window mullions (vertical bars separating the window panes). The shower tiles in the changerooms are also laid in a herringbone pattern and lined up with the showerhead in each stall.  This is  a challenging detail to achieve but it results in a cohesiveness that puts the user at ease and is restful on the eye.

Calming gray changerooms and showers

We transformed a generic, concrete office space into a vibrant, energetic, and sculpted space through architectural and customized graphic elements. The tingle of nervous energy on arrival is met with a welcome and calming arrival area.

The rewards of perseverance and grit are ever sweeter when accompanied by the expansive downtown views and the vibrancy of the city below. After a good workout, visitors can pause to recharge and recover in the velvety dark embrace of the changing rooms.

Opening a new chapter in retail design

A creative vision of a “cultural department store for book-lovers” led Canada’s largest independent bookstore to expand beyond national borders to launch its first store in the United States in Short Hills, New Jersey. This contemporary shop interior embodies a holistic design concept that attracts customers of all ages and design sensibilities. 

Interior Designer: Diego Burdi, ARIDO

Design Team: Tom Yip, ARIDO

Design Firm: Burdifilek

Photographer: Ben Rahn, A-Frame Studio

A feminine area of the store "A room of her own" with modern round display tables and display units

The creative brief for this Indigo store was clear: the experience was to become the antithesis of a traditional book store. Understanding the notion that books were just the beginning of a larger narrative to enrich our lives, our team came up with a design concept that kept the books at the heart and soul of the experience, while introducing a product mix that compartmentalized the store into several core categories. 

A more dramatic area of the store showcasing a black and white color scheme and some pops of color on shelving and posters throughout the space

By creating a cross-pollination of books and products with areas like Room Of Her Own, Joy of the Table, and Paper Shop, Indigo enables a richer narrative for the books in those categories.

To recall the rawness of space found in a contemporary art gallery, we kept the exposed ceiling, simple drywall solution and various zones throughout the interior. The palette becomes a beautiful backdrop for the product, and a handsome framework that showcases a confidence for the Indigo brand identity. 

A view of "A room of her own" feminine area of the store from the homeware section

The beauty of the design shines when entering a specific zone as everything is proportioned to resemble entering a private residence. There is a clear sense for what each department is about – in Home, there’s a fireplace and bookshelves resembling  someone’s personal library, whereas Room Of Her Own carries a more feminine, softer palette and features a beautiful apothecary unit of metal and glass. Every area and fixture is custom-designed to uphold the sensibilities of each theme.

"Joy of the table" area, the section displaying homeware with floor to ceiling wall shelving and a stunning large dining table in front of them that showcases a table setting scene

Created in response to changing consumer tastes, habits, and demands, the new Indigo experience is unlike any traditional bookstore experience in North America. The new design is not just the proverbial bookstore with bookshelves and display cabinets. Standing at the lease line of this store, there are many points of interest to attract attention. With an expert team behind the cross-merchandising around the product, Indigo was able to create a physical extension of what the joy of books is all about.

Residential look and feel-A vignette of a white book shelf with predominantly white items displayed on it, and some purple details, all resembling a built-in shelf in someone's home.

Perfecting the art of integrating books with other products is the reason for success with this concept, while also creating a platform to make the store a meeting place where the community can come together with special events, learn new skills, and enjoy a wide variety of innovative and unique lifestyle products.  

Large oversized table with chairs in the centre surrounded by walls of built-in shelves full of colourful books

The winning combination of design and programming from the client transforms the new Indigo concept into an excellent case study on how retail must evolve in order to interest the consumer. Bookstores today should offer more retail animation by complementing the core product with a lifestyle component to further engage customers. In this particular case, the product lines were carefully curated to advance the themes of the book sections and mix with the books to tell a different story and share a unique point of view.

A contemporary interior deserving of its own hashtag

Our client’s vision of marketing their 49-storey downtown Toronto condominium was to create an unconventional presentation centre and media campaign. By partnering with Toronto Life , the go-to magazine for the city’s cultural beat, ‘VIP’ passes were given to community influencers to attend the project’s sales launch along with other special events at the presentation centre.

Interior Designers: Kelly Cray, ARIDO and Neil Jonsohn, ARIDO

Design Team: Christianne Barbuto, Intern ARIDO

Design Firm: U31 

Photographer: Jac Jacobson

Inspiration for Maverick’s two-storey presentation centre, located in a heritage building on King Street West’s ‘restaurant row’, was drawn from the social thrust of the campaign and the target market of entrepreneurial thirtysomethings. Mindful of this, our team conceived an aesthetic that is contemporary  with an eclectic edge. 

Bar with industrial style stools, greenery on the wall behind the bar and hanging wicker chairs beside, reinforcing the outdoor feel

Multiple objectives were at play in this project: it needed to communicate a neighbourhood vibe and pilot the concept of a ‘social club’ pop-up on the second level, while simultaneously promoting the building’s amenities and company brand.

The vision to market this concept in an innovative manner, resulted in establishing an unconventional presentation environment. Instead of a reception desk, visitors are greeted by a cafe style entrance where an elongated marble coffee bar, with a 12 screen media wall sets the tone of a sophisticated retail boutique. Instead of the usual marketing assets, pieces of lifestyle photography convey to the target customer what the project is all about.

Lounge area with two black velvet sofas facing each other against a wood finish wall with oversized lifestyle photographs and a built-in digital screen

This space quickly puts visitors at ease: outdoor inspired hanging woven swing chairs and a feature botanical wall contribute to the overall warm, welcoming environment. Suite finish selections and scale building model are displayed as artwork, conveying an elegant retail space. 

The visitor experience continues on the second level with zones reflecting the condominium’s multiple amenity offerings. Having potential purchasers navigate through lounges, games room, beauty bar, and co-working spaces, provides an immersive experience and offers a glimpse of what’s to come in the finished project . 

Large bar in on the right running along the entire depth of the room and lounge spaces on the left for comfortable seating and collaborating. Predominantly black and wood finishes

The overall mandate was to create a private social club vibe that would appeal to individuals with their ‘fingers on the pulse’. The design captures the look and feel of a trendy VIP destination – casual, yet sophisticated with materials that are eclectic, while dramatic: sumptuous velvet and leather upholstered contemporary furniture forms, rich woods and bold black accents.

 A major challenge to overcome was the existing, old, uneven floors. Leveling wasn’t an option due to budget constraints, so we did minor building-up of floor sections with plywood, and covered the ground and secondlevels with a very forgiving laminate flooring that possessed a measure of flex. It was a very successful solution. 

Two adjacent playful spaces enclosed by glass walls, in a predominantly black and white color scheme with some biophilia on the wall

Two well-planned ‘swanky’ events in the second level social club, attracted over 550 attendees, including many of the city’s well heeled cultural and design influencers. These parties created buzz around the upcoming development making the entire marketing effort an enormous success.

Luxury lives in this high-end condo presentation center

Formerly a retail space, this boutique style presentation centre for a church conversion connecting a new four-storey condominium in Toronto’s High Park neighbourhood, was envisioned to communicate a luxury lifestyle. The design team’s primary approach was to focus on creating well-appointed vignettes that reflected the building’s final look, while also creating a special experience for potential purchasers.

Interior Designers: Kelly Cray, ARIDO; Neil Jonsohn, ARIDO

Design Firm: U31

Photographer: Jac Jacobson

Entrance to the main central presentation space showcasing wood and metal separators between the rooms

As the client was a new player in the condominium market, it was important to establish a highly credible sales story for potential purchasers. The design team’s key strategy was to use high quality materials and elements and setting up a well crafted, high end experience.

Welcoming reception desk area, modern clean lines of the marble and wood front desk
Kitchen vignette-Modern Dark colored wood kitchen cabinets and island with white countertops and walls with beautiful abstract artwork on the wall.

The open concept kitchen, bath and living-room vignettes offer a glimpse of the residences’ quality finishes: layers of light travertine, marble, lacquer surrounds, and quartz countertops combine with contemporary matte black fixtures and gold accents.

A living room setting with luxurious finishes and built-ins on the walls and modern high end furniture, all in welcoming beige and white neutral palette
Bathroom vignette-soaker tub and a shower, white and grey marble walls and floors, clean modern lines on the vanity and black hardware throughout

Inspiration was drawn from the century old ‘High Park Alhambra’ church’s Neo Gothic architecture, as well as from a contemporary sensibility. As such, classically inspired details like the artist-crafted mural spanning a longwall and the ceiling treatment of repurposed white washed tin tiles blend effortlessly with streamlined cabinetry and furniture forms.

Central area of the presentation center with the large 3D model of the condo building and a large modern white light fixture above. Two monitors on the wall in the back.

Transitions between each zone of this presentation centre are fashioned in custom Deco-inspired metal screens, abstractly referencing the development’s branding logo, and helping to define reception and sales areas.

Upon arrival, visitors encounter well executed craftsmanship in the reception area and throughout. The luxurious style is evident all around this presentation centre; from the high-end bathroom design featuring marble-like porcelain feature walls and high end fixtures, to the modern, streamlined kitchen, reassuring the purchaser of the upgraded options awaiting them. 

Closing office looks like a high end dining room setting, with large framed photos on the walls, beautiful light fixture

The closing office, used for private sales negotiations, is a dining room setting, keeping up with the inviting residential feel. The challenging low ceilings in this interior were remedied by introducing lower surrounds in key areas to give the illusion of a higher overall ceiling height. The layout facilitates an impactful and personalized experience at a crucial point in the home building process and the cozy fireplace and comfortable seating encourages visitors to feel ‘at home’.

A journey through eclectic luxury in this condo presentation centre

Condo buyers today look for luxurious, hospitality-inspired features when considering a condo  for their new home. At Phoenix, our main focus was on how the potential homeowner would use and enjoy the spaces, not just design those which are visually stimulating. In addition to stunning residential units, the condo building features a variety of amenities that appeal to a higher-end target market with modern sensibilities, such as a chic lobby lounge, spa oasis, outdoor luxury pool, and modern gym.

Interior Designer: Dominic De Freitas, ARIDO

Design Firm: Figure3

Photographer: Steve Tsai Photography

A large 3D model of the building displayed in a large space in the lobby area with metal details above, on the ceiling and wood a glass details on the wall displaying beautiful framed photographs of the property

The presentation centre was designed to reflect this luxurious lifestyle, leading potential purchasers on a journey through the space, from reception, through multiple seating areas, to the final reveal of the condo space.

The Phoenix presentation centre was built in an existing space which needed to be retrofitted specifically for this project. With a limited budget, our team had to find creative ways to repurpose and reuse as much as possible of the existing infrastructure with minimal waste, yet create the look and feel the client’s marketing team aspired to achieve. 

A large 3D model of the building displayed in a large space in the lobby area with metal details above, on the ceiling and the 'living room" style lounge area visible in the back

Located in Mystic Pointe, outside of Toronto’s downtown core, it would not receive foot traffic from the street and potential buyers would have to go out of their way to visit. The presentation center therefore had to embody the alluring Phoenix lifestyle and become a destination that would attract potential buyers to the location, and facilitate a curated program of compelling activities and experiences.

Guests enter the presentation center through the reception area, where they are met with the substantial building model highlighted by an impressive lighting feature. Built around a backlit canvas on the ceiling, it mimics the effect of the skylight which is present in the Phoenix condo lobby. The sculptural fixture is made from an industrial black metal frame with vintage filament bulbs that were later repurposed in the condo building itself.

A dramatic reveal is created as guests transition into the sitting area by walking around a European style fireplace, clad in charcoal stone. This area was designed to have a hotel-like atmosphere, with two seating zones that welcome guests in and encourage social activity.

The space features a mix of old and new, and a combination of raw and refined materials. Earthy colours and fumed wood finishes are offset by richly coloured furniture and accessories such as contemporary sofas and Persian rugs, made to resemble an eclectic collection of pieces acquired over time. 

The model suite is located at the end of the customer journey encouraging the customers to walk through the entire space, their curiosity piqued along the way. Empire’s award-winning Phoenix marketing campaign included a series of after-hours “adulting” classes, focusing on the lifestyles of their target customers, facilitated by the impressive design experience of the space. 

With features that recall luxury hospitality, and user experiences which connect with buyers’ sense of community and modern sensibilities, the repurposed Phoenix presentation center became a marketing hit which  led to exceptional sales results. Since launching in June 2018, all 447 units sold out within 9 months, far exceeding expectations and demonstrating how strongly their campaign, and this design, resonates with buyers.

This interior brings all business operations together so naturally

A multifaceted company like Nutrichem needed to integrate all parts of the business into a new, larger and more functional space. We were tasked with bringing the biomedical clinic, pharmacy, lab, retail store, international shipping services and business operations under one roof to further support their business philosophy of health and nutrition.

Interior Designer: Ellen Lee, ARIDO

Design Firm: Ellen Lee Design 

Photographer: Mailynne K. Briggs

Each area of the new interior required detailed custom millwork to accommodate the unique yet integrative aspects of each space. With the client’s help we were able to identify the importance of functionality in a way that would exude precision and beauty for Nutrichem’s clientele, without compromising function. 

The new millwork needed to house all their lab function and products; a dispensary that housed all their medication and production; a large retail store with custom millwork from cash registers to all the shelving gondolas; a clinic with integrative flow from reception to the consultation rooms and  the IV therapy services; a fully functional shipping/receiving department; a staffroom and offices.

All millwork was custom made and inspired by biophilic design with natural wood finishes in colours inspired by nature, wood grains, curves of a tree of life, natural birch branches encased in panels. The underlying concept was one of life and health, all while exuding their corporate colours and philosophy.

Each piece of millwork had to be carefully planned and designed to highlight the Nutrichem line of specialty products in the best way possible. It had to showcase a finite amount of products and remain visible to customers, all the while maintaining certain site lines so clients feel welcome to speak with staff. Each piece of lab millwork behind the scenes was painstakingly calculated for function and storage of specific lab equipment while being code compliant.

Discerning buyers RUSH to claim units at this lively Toronto condo

‘Rush’, a 1,700 square foot presentation centre, situated in Toronto’s trendy Queen Street West retail strip, was inspired by nearby ‘Rush Lane’ – a famed alleyway filled with graffiti-painted buildings. The playful black-and-white commissioned artwork by ‘En Masse’, a Montreal-based art collective, offers a hint of what’s to come in the boutique residence as feature graffiti walls are planned in the final residences’ lobby, party room, fitness, and outdoor terrace overhang. 

Interior Designer: Kelly Cray, ARIDO

Design Team: Neil Jonsohn, ARIDO; Christianne Barbuto, Intern ARIDO 

Design Firm: U31   

Photographer: Jac Jacobson

Reception area in the very front of the space enveloped in the black and white graffiti on wall and ceiling

The objective of the project was to create a presentation centre that would reflect the final boutique condominium, and attract design savvy urbanites who already live in the area, or others who aspire to be part of the dynamic, off-beat and creative neighbourhood scene. As the vision for the residence was to express a refined, high-contrast industrial edge, the centre articulates this by combining old meets new, and raw meets polished. For instance, our design team deliberately kept the ceiling exposed and sprayed it out in matte black, but incorporated polished elements and surfaces to create the desired polarity.

Lounge area in the very front of the space enveloped in the black and white graffiti on wall and ceiling

As the animated entry walls and ceilings create an energized atmosphere, our design team kept the remaining scheme clean, contemporary, and functional. Visitors encounter a space that is at once dynamic, yet quite approachable and easy to navigate. Closing areas are casual fostering a less intimidating sales experience for the younger or first-time home purchaser.

The open concept layout ensures that all key marketing assets, including intricate scale 3D model, fashioned with a luxury ‘invisible’ grey marble base, wall mounted framed floor plans and kitchen/bath vignettes are close at hand for the essential sales experience.  

Lounge area in the very front of the space enveloped in the black and white graffiti on wall and ceiling

This impactful interior incorporates finishes and elements envisioned for building amenities: natural stone, custom statement lighting, and black fashion-forward accents unite beautifully for an edgy, contemporary, high- contrast look. Pops of neon, with a punchy ‘A Collision of Culture’ sign slogan, continues the dynamic branding campaign. 

The elongated ‘invisible’ grey marble reception counter is multi-functional: the far end serves as a suite finishes display, with assets housed under an elegant glass case, as one would find in a jewellery boutique. It also functions as a casual area for information gathering with sales staff.

Pops of neon, with a punchy ‘A Collision of Culture’ sign slogan and in front of it counter with marketing materials and statement lighting above, with pops of colorful art in the background

Hovering above the counter is a dramatic custom light fixture, drawing visitors to peruse the sales assets below. Positioning the kitchen vignette at the far back was meant to pique visitors’ interest, and draw them deeper into the space where a closing table is located nearby to ‘seal the deal’. 

The presentation centre was overwhelmingly popular and attracted 350 visitors when it opened , with the developer selling out of its entire 124-suite inventory by the end of March 2019.

This interior is dressed up in high-end style and luxury

Trafalgar Landing sets a precedent for modern-designed home developments in the historically traditional city of Oakville. This major residential development consisting of three mid-rise boutique condo buildings and 500 townhomes, brings an entirely new architectural landscape to the city. To reflect the client’s vision, our team took a modern approach in the design of the lobby and amenities.

Interior Designer: Suzanne Wilkinson, ARIDO 

Design Team: Dominic De Freitas, ARIDO

Design Firm: Figure3 

Photographer: Steve Tsai Photography

Luxurious bar and lounge area in Trafalgar Landing sales centre in dark luxe colour scheme and interior finishes

In Oakville, the target market had come to expect comfort and luxury in their living spaces, so our design had to live up to these expectations. The goal was to provide amenities that would complement the clean, strong architectural features of the building exteriors with elegant design and thoughtful details. 

Our challenge was to find a way to marry the traditional style and elevated standard of Oakville living with the more contemporary look the client was envisioning for the space.

Sofa in the lounge area designed in a neutral colour scheme with luxurious interior finishes and materials

Through experiential research, we gained firsthand insights into what Oakville residents value in design. One notable observation was that they appreciated high fashion, as it represents luxury, craftsmanship, and enduring style. With this in mind, we decided to use a luxury brand story to bridge the gap between modern and traditional design. 

With each of the three condos retaining the same floor plan, we decided each should have its own personality. Drawing inspiration from some of the world’s most revered fashion brands, the three spaces reflect the aesthetics of Bulgari, Burberry and Chanel.

A bright living room setting with statement globe lighting above and neutral mid century furniture
A bright living room setting with built in wall cabinets and neutral mid century furniture

The lobby and amenities at Trafalgar Landing demonstrate how contemporary elements can be incorporated into a space without sacrificing quality. The marriage of thoughtful layouts, luxurious finishes, and a wealth of amenities creates a compelling design that represents the standard of high-end living.

High end gym setting equipped with top of the line equipment and interesting geometric feature wall in the background

Working closely with the client during the entire process ensured the design vision was wholly accomplished, making this project hugely successful. With such designs typically only seen in urban environments, residents were won over by Trafalgar Landing’s exceptional quality and modern yet timeless details, and as a result, it has pioneered a new way of thinking about the Oakville buyer, with contemporary developments now becoming popular in the city.

Interior designers go against the grain for this immersive wood themed exhibit

As a main sponsor for Toronto’s Interior Design Show in 2019, hardwood flooring manufacturer PurParket sought to create a conceptual space that provides a memorable experience, connecting visitors with the origins of their product.

Interior Designer: Ashley Rumsey, ARIDO; Stanley Sun, ARIDO

Design Team: Marti Hawkins, ARIDO;

Design Firm: Mason Studio    

Photographer: Scott Norsworthy

View of the PURparket exhibit booth entrance

To differentiate from past exhibitions and take advantage of a prime six-hundred square foot location, the design concept focused on creating an immersive space that explores the beauty of wood. Shown in various states of existence, wood becomes both the main feature and the backdrop to the experience.

Visitors to the booth are reminded of the capabilities of wood being both a fundamental building material and a material that can extract visceral emotional response. A full sensory experience of sight, sounds, smell and touch was used to attract the discerning eye of designers and architects triggering memory through a connection with nature.

To reconnect visitors with the natural qualities of the wood product, forest-like forms and activities contribute to an interactive experience while information panels provide an educational component to reinforce the connection between the unprocessed material and finished product.

a wall of raw wood logs with integrated product offerings

To offset the intensity and scale of the show, the booth was conceived as a space within a space to shift from public to private; open to intimate. Designed to create only glimpses of the interior space from the outside, it encourages curious visitors to move from the highly active show floor, to enter and discover what exists within.

Upon entry from two access points, guests are greeted by a wall of raw wood logs with integrated product offerings. The hardwood flooring display is as though it has been revealed from within the tree itself.

To provide guests an opportunity to rest and reflect, a flickering fire sits within the innermost portion of the space. Seen through openings within the log walls, guests can gather, sit on log seating, and enjoy a moment of quiet contemplation.