Text description provided by the architects. Optique Potts Point is the second location of one of Sydney's most established optometry practices, Optique Double Bay. The store is a beautiful backdrop for exquisitely crafted and exclusive eyewear. Its owner Susan Green has a reputation as one of the best buyers in the business and retails major brands like Tom Ford, Oliver Peoples, and Cutler and Gross.
The challenge we faced with this project was in how to visually connect this space to the pedestrian passing by. This was challenging due to the store’s elevated and set back position, at the base of a dark and imposing building. We required a solution that would turn this challenge into an opportunity. For this we focused on contrasting levels of light: a brilliant “jewelry box” at the foot of a dark building.
To make the interior highly visible we built an all-white space beneath a coloured mirror lantern, in order to create an inviting retail space as well as signal its new use to the passersby. The multi-coloured lantern makes use of space’s inherent tall ceiling heights and uses four different colours of mirror, as well as coloured glass, to create a complex array of reflected colours and lights. The effect is captivating and conceptually references what eyewear does; to tint, alter or enhance the image. It adds warmth and drama to the otherwise white space.
The lantern is illuminated with state of the art LED lighting and by day and night glows bright orange attracting attention from pedestrians on the street and cars driving by. These long and narrow (only 12mm wide) ribbon lights provide a base level of lighting to the space and are complemented by spot lights that focus on the display of frames. This creates the ideal lighting scenario, where the product is beautifully lit by sharp directional spot lights, creating strong shadows and highlights, while the customer is bathed in soft and complementary light. The mirrored lantern cleverly conceals the light fittings and therefore the glare in the space.
The white display panels, on which approximately 350 frames are mounted, are leather clad joinery doors that house additional stock and cases. This means that the area is also the stock room, creating a retail space where the limited footprint is incredibly practical and efficient, and the customer is not left unattended.
Excellent customer service is vital to ensuring this business’ success, especially in today’s competitive retail environment. This message of customer service is further reinforced with:
· the latest eye-testing equipment for the Optometrists’ testing suite,
· an on-site workshop for fitting lenses and making repairs, and
· refreshments available including champagne for special customers.
With its fashionable, modern look it marries effortlessly with Optique’s branding and business ethos and makes it a destination shop for customers to visit.