Text description provided by the architects. The Brooklyn-based fragrance house Joya Studio approached Taylor and Miller Architecture and Design to design a retail space within the context of their existing candle production facility. Taylor and Miller created a retail environment that is literally and figuratively suspended between the formality, cleanliness, and elegance of a retail space and the informality and grit of a highly active factory. This retail experience is meant to hover between the context of consumption and the context of production, two environments that are too often ripped apart for the sake of protecting the sanctity of the antiseptic and heavily branded retail store.
The space is comprised of large floating steel and wood veneer surfaces suspended from the factory ceiling. None of the steel surfaces touch each other, meaning that while they define the retail space, the beautifully scented activities of the factory space permeate the retail experience. The retail sides of the floating surfaces are wrapped in an oak wood veneer while the factory side of the surfaces is left entirely bare. Therefore, the space of consumption and the space of production is separated by the thinnest of architectural elements; a single sheet of veneer and a single sheet of steel.
This configuration elicits material and metaphorical connections to Joya’s fabrication processes, which are rooted in the relationship between cast and mold. For the production of Joya candles and ceramics, the mold is materially and texturally defined in a similar way as the floating steel and veneer panels used in the Joya retail space: The side of the mold that faces outward is rough and unfinished and at home in the context of the rough and unfinished factory space; while the inside surfaces of the mold are pristine and highly refined, turned away from the context of the factory and towards the space of the consumed product.