When Holt Renfrew sought to add a boutique for its contemporary collections on the second floor of its Sherbrooke store in Montreal, it faced some considerable site challenges.
First, the boutique would be nestled among some high-end neighboring brand shops, including Jil Sander, Gucci, Armani Black Label and Moschino. Second, the space had two entrances and would need to be flexible enough to hold two distinct lines while creating a cohesive presentation for the entire collection.
Berkeley Design Group (Toronto) used the entrances and two existing windows to divide the space into two identical areas that mirror each other. Fitting rooms and a cashwrap area separate the rooms and facilitate movement between.
A commissioned painting on the back wall anchors the entire boutique space, filled with a minimalist approach to finishes and furniture. Recessed lighting troughs in the ceiling combine with the natural light from the windows.
Taking inspiration from mid-century artists, including Mark Rothko and Donald Judd, designers turned sculptural elements into utilitarian objects. The area's built-in shelving resembles wall-mounted display boxes and a zig-zag metal hanging system runs throughout the area to display merchandise.
Client: Holt Renfrew Co. Ltd., Montreal - Anne Walker, vp, merchandise administration
Design: Berkeley Design Group Inc., Toronto - Diane Varacalli, principal; Tim Wilkinson, project leader; Dan Izzett, architectural technologist
Suppliers: Audio Video Design, Toronto (audio/video); Cama Conception, Montreal (ceilings, fixturing, furniture); Telio & Cie, Toronto (fabrics); Sullivan Source, Toronto (flooring); Dot & Dash, Toronto (graphics, signage); Litemor, Toronto (lighting); Metro Wallcoverings, Toronto (wallcoverings)
Photography: Brian Bass, Grand Rapids, Mich.