The Room
Unitfive Design Inc. Monday 10 Jun 2013

When acclaimed design firm YabuPushelberg envisioned the ultra-luxe department ‘THE ROOM' at theHudson's Bay Company in Vancouver, they called upon Unitfive Design to give it a signature installationworthy of the premium fashion labels carried on the racks.

Kelvin Goddard and Lisa Santana, cofounders of Unitfive Design, saw this as an opportunity to create a pointof memory for this iconic Canadian retailer. They envisioned a subtle backdrop for the couture garments totake centre stage, and they wanted the final design to infuse the space with organic textures and forms inspiredby nature.

The result: a series of 4 decorative screens, each measuring 11' in height and 20' in length. Each of the screensis hand forged and hand textured from steel, and every aspect of the visual character is created with artisanmetal-working tools. The design creates an ‘aesthetic curtain' which surrounds and diffuses the otherwise rigidescalators that bring customers to the space. The seemingly random horizontal and vertical textured ‘branches',appear to weave themselves organically from floor to ceiling, and upon closer inspection show beautifullysculpted lotus flowers in various stages of bloom. As well, small birds and dragonflies can be foundthroughout the design, giving shoppers tiny surprises as they browse the space.

The screens are finished in an ultra-matte winter white, which visually softens them and allows each one to fallto the background of the overall interior design concept and its light materials palette.

Kelvin Goddard describes the Unitfive solution for this luxury space. "Because this piece was in Vancouver,we used steel as a medium to capture the texture of the province's natural geography. It was also an homage to Canadian sculptor Henry Moore, who could channel the essence of organic forms on grand scale".

Lisa Santana adds: "An 80' screen could have been visually overpowering, but this was about texturing andfinishing an unforgiving material like steel, and making it appear soft and almost weightless. It's as much aboutthe negative space it creates as it is about the screen itself. It invites people to engage it from far away and upclose, but never deters from the products in the retail space."