Wednesday 02 Mar 2011

The historic souks of Beirut, located in the renovated area of Solidere in the city centre, were destroyed by civil war in Lebanon and completely rebuilt by the Spanish architect Rafael Moneo and reopened in 2009. It is in this new commercial and tourist complex that the Lebanese chocolate maker Patchi has opened a new shop designed by French architectural and interiors practice, L'Autre Fabrique.

Patchi decided to break with the codes that have contributed to his reputation throughout the Middle East, with "chocolate jewels" presented on a plexiglass cone, by dispensing with stands and instead having only the boxes of the extensive "Gourmandine" range on display.

The shop is located at the corner of two internal streets, facing a very busy square. The site covers a small area - just over 25m2 - but has a comfortable height - 7m - and the creation of a mezzanine was suggested by the client.

The trapezoidal shape of the plan highlights the perspective and the perception of the depth of the shop transforming this cramped area into a generous space opening onto the outside. The linear display of products is located in hollows in the walls that hug the contours of the trapezoid. Boxes and chocolate bars are displayed on cantilevered shelves that run along the whole length of the wall and whose spacing varies to accommodate all sizes of products. Linear LED's
installed under each shelf highlight the product facings. The lower walls are smooth, concealing stock cupboards at the top; the cantilevered shelves look like streaks on the full height. They incorporate a system of indirect lighting that allows the multiple perforations in the ceiling to
be preserved. The counter, with a Macassar ebony veneer, houses the till and the sound equipment and enables new products from the "Gourmandine" range to be presented.
To the rear, a screen, which repeats the shapes and materials of the counter serves as storage for bags hanging from hooks made from brushed stainless steel.

Key Facts

Interior Commercial Retail

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