When the cosmetics company H20 Plus decided to revamp its image starting with a new store in downtown Vancouver, the company called on local architecture firm, Architectura. Designers were challenged with redefining and shaping the retail design to reflect the nature-based philosophy of H20 Plus. The result: a clean, minimalist aesthetic and a design that is easily adapted for future stores.
Architectura developed and refined the color and material palettes to create a serene environment with a limited set of materials and colors. A feature wall uses frosted and custom cast glass in combination with twin waterfalls to underline the "water" image, while new LED lighting technology creates a constant yet subtly changing backdrop for the store, evoking a sense of water. White predominates, with blue and gray accents in the flooring, millwork and vertical light columns.
The materials palette includes gloss-white lacquered finishes on all millwork, plus custom-colored concrete for counters, tops and flooring. Different kinds of glass textures and finishes -- cast, frosted, sandblasted and back-painted -- help promote the liquid atmosphere. Blue gels on the fluorescent tubes and special cove lighting provide glowing blue accents keyed to the color of major product lines.
Client Team: H20 Plus, Chicago -- Cindy Melk, president; Brad Lenhart, director of communications
Design Team: Architectura Planning Architecture Interiors Inc., Vancouver -- Stanis Smith, president; Susan Smallenberg, director and principal; D. Brent North, principal; Alan Endall and Philip Gowland, design team
General Contractor: Heron Construction & Millwork Ltd., Richmond, B.C.
Suppliers: Heron Construction & Millwork, Richmond, B.C. (fixturing); AKA Beton, Vancouver (flooring); Architectura, Vancouver (graphics); Color Kinetics Inc., Boston (lighting); Joel Berman Glass Studios, Vancouver, and Accuglass, Vancouver (props and decoratives)
Photography: Elaine Kilburn, Vancouver