Eyewear is something that does not typically incite enthusiasm. For must of us, a trip to the optometrist validates just one thing – that we’re getting older.
Traditional eyewear environments do not even provoke notice due to their locations, lodged in between a plethora of bright retailers, or simply because those in need to new glasses may not notice intricate design details. However that’s changed with a design scheme that won’t easily be ignored, with OPSM’s newest Luxottica hub on Burwood Rd. in Hawthorn.
The new building is a multi-level sensory assault that shows an incredible intermingling of broad colour palettes and textures, already winning the Master Builders Award’s for Best Fitout.
The interior fitout is the design creation of Via Architects and E3 designers, under the construction capabilities of FDC Construction and Fitout. Not only did the designers set out to invigorate the original eyewear retailer, but they began an industry process that will surely set a new benchmark for the entire optical sector.
The structural changes to the original building were a major focus for the builders. They were challenged with the difficult task of creating a space that is open, welcoming and stylish, whilst including the privacy and sterility that is a necessary part of any optometrist’s office. The same issues were present for the designers, who had the added issue of giving the space a positive overall atmosphere, when each space conflicted with the next.
In order to make sure a divide was felt between all the rooms, which include consultation rooms, retail space, interactive air and glare simulation rooms, the Child Zone, the living ‘green’ wall and retail space, specified ceiling and flooring materials were acquired. Highly acoustic flooring and an acoustic veneered ceiling were installed in order to create intimacy, quiet and to separate the different areas due their separate functions.
In order to create a completely sensory environment, video walls and touch screen mirrors were added, as well as the lush ‘green’ wall, a nod to sustainable interior design practices. A new HVAC system, playback mirrors and stimulation rooms were also included.
Furnishings and lighting differ from section to section; the most notable in the Child Zone, where giant eyeballs act as seats and colours are infused into all the surfaces. Retail lighting is used throughout, with a focus on warm clean spaces that offer high visibility, while emphasising the infra-red counters.
The space re-examines mixed-use retail, with the true power of the development lying in the specifications that the design team as a whole had to implement. The OPSM hub in Hawthorn has proven that by creating a space that caters to every facet of a client’s needs, creative freedom as well as productivity needn’t be mutually exclusive outcomes.