L’Aire Visuelle, optométristes – opticiens

19 Feb 2014

Working from high contrast and simple natural materials, the firm la SHED architecture have designed a unique optometrist and optician clinic redefining the customer's experience. The space was designed in such a way to position the sales area at the front of the building, in the section that contained the most windows and was closest to the entrance. People walking into the clinic could therefore instantly see all available products. Visible from the reception, the waiting area was placed beneath the office's area of double height and is apart from the consultation rooms while being open to the sales area. The two main axis of circulation are on either side of the reception area - one being meant for clients heading for consultation and examination rooms, and the other for clinic personnel heading to the employee common room, apart from the client zone. The design hierarchy was therefore established, with busier areas at the front near the entrance, and areas requiring quiet and privacy located at the rear of the office.

The concept, geared towards the creation of a workshop-boutique, opted for presentation tables in order to keep the display area clear of all obstacles limiting vision or obstructing lighting. As a result, the eyeglass frame shopping area turns into a far more friendly area, where artificial light is articulated within a randomly organized ceiling of lath wood. The ceiling, by its dynamic and rhythmic design, creates an illusion of movement within the adjacent space. In the spirit of architectural continuity, a wall of vertical lattice creates a space for attaching eyeglass frame presentation modules while enveloping the sales area. The long and narrow ceramic tile flooring is a harmonious continuation of the lath wood ceiling, therefore completing the envelopment of the sales area.

The immaculate white band that is the showroom is a start contrast to the wooden monolithic cube immediately adjacent to it, covering the private consultation areas. The highly contrasted colours provide the area with a theatrical character featuring the eyeglass showroom with its bright white presentation modules, whereas the mechanical and unaesthetic elements of the open ceiling disappear in black. A black carpet covers the floor in circulation and consultation areas, absorbing sound and light emitted by the sales area. Fluorescent tubes randomly built into the lattice ceiling frame animate the sales area by producing bright and stimulating lighting in stark contrast to the other more private spaces.

The contrast of porosity, colours and textures within the project elegantly reflect the different character of each space, and contribute to a simple and clear understanding of the planning of the office. Refined finishing details such as doors with hidden frames, and recessed plinths contribute to the clean appearance of the various spaces, underscoring the strong architectural ideas implemented to make L'Aire Visuelle a contemporary and elegant optometry clinic

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