Boy, the office has been bu-sy! The six design architects (plus the two interns) have been juggling five projects: a library renovation, a high-rise apartment complex, a medium-rise office building, and two competitions. For the past week or so, I have been working on the latter: a competition entry for an ice cream shop. Although I cannot explicitly mention the name of our prospective client, I can say that it is undoubtedly the most famous frozen novelty brand in the city, maybe even in the country. The company currently sells their products in grocery stores, bakeries, and tienditas (small convenience stores), but it is looking to open a flagship store in Bogotá. The client is interested in an architecturally striking, vibrant, and adventurous space that appeals to kids and adults alike. Besides the basic program requirements, the design is generally up to us. The only catch is that it must be flexible enough to be replicated in the event that the company opens additional stores—on different sized lots and in different contexts—in the future.
My original concept centered on multi-functional curved planes. Attached to the four principal walls, the planes varied in size and height in order to serve as counters, tables, chairs, or shelves. I thought this rational, yet whimsical solution would be especially appealing to children, who could climb on the “furniture” and explore the space as if it were a playplace.
My big boss and the lead design architect were pleased with the outline of the idea, but they thought the planes would be even more adaptable if they were rotated vertically. To be honest, I thought their suggestion directly conflicted with my original concept. (How could a series of vertical planes possibly serve as a usable surface?) I hated their proposed revision in the cited references, in the initial sketches, and in the 3-D model—I thought it looked like the inside of a cave!—but after working out some of the kinks with Stephanie over the weekend, I am finally starting to warm up to it. (Unfortunately, I do not have any screen captures of the rotated design, as the 3-D model is still in development. As soon as I do, though, I will try to post them.)
The competition entry is due on April 13, the Friday after Holy Week. The timing is poor, as I am leaving for Texas tomorrow evening and will be M.I.A. for a week and a half. I wish I could be more involved, as this is my first experience with commercial interiors. Nevertheless, I am excited to see the design’s progress upon my return.