Tactile, Flexible: Ace & Tate Store
Dutch eyewear brand Ace & Tate has opened its first standalone store in Amsterdam's Huidenstraat (the western part of the city centre), with an innovative design that mixes both hyper-tactile and modular design elements.
The pragmatically conceived interiors, designed by local practice Occult Studio, were inspired by the brand's constantly changing collections – placing versatility above conceptual concerns.
Primed for flexibility, the light and airy minimalist space is flanked by oak peg-hole walls and adjustable shelving, allowing the display to be moved easily and at speed. A series of circular mirrors can be also adjusted individually to suit visitors' heights.
The rear of the store features an examination room. The walls and ceiling are lined with grey sound-absorbing wool-like fabric, adding an ultra-tactile, relaxing feel not usually associated with optical centres. Wooden benches and piles of magazines outside the room deliver a pared-back waiting area (for more on waiting areas, see Limbo Spaces).
For more on key strategies for retailing eyewear and other small goods, see Elevating Eyewear: Exploiting The Optical Boom and Rejuvenating Jewellery Retail. Also look out for Accessories: Spatial Design & VM, publishing in early October. For more on tactile interior design, see Viktor & Rolf Flagship Store, Paris, The Quiet Space and Disconnecting to De-Stress Chair.
See The Makeshift Mentality, Future Store Environments: Layout, Mood & Ambience and Warhol-Inspired Social Showroom for more on the value of experimental, flexible store layouts.