TVS Interiors (Atlanta) designed a deep-sea diving experience for the Georgia Aquarium’s two retail spaces. The gift shop duo took first place in the 2006 ISP/VM+SD International Store Design Competition for a specialty store with a sales area from 5001 to 10,000 square feet.
“We wanted to entice the aquarium visitors to look around first instead of heading for the door,” says TVS project designer, Paula Carr. “So we incorporated varying lighting levels, meandering paths and materials that require investigation and discovery.”
Lighting first enchants guests at the entrance of the larger, 6000-square-foot “Beyond the Reef” store with glowing fiberglass jellyfish draped in sheer, orange organza silk. To achieve an underwater feel in the darkened cove-like opening, designers used recessed floor lights that create rippled reflections on the walls.
Large tendrils of green kelp form passageways and entice visitors farther into the space. There, the aquatic theme continues with a coral reef wall at the cashwrap and plasma screens showing films of ocean life. Materials like the sparkling terrazzo floor to imitate the ocean bottom and internally illuminated fabric forms to obscure columns, make this space as much of a destination as the aquarium itself, Carr believes.
A second 600-square-foot children-inspired shop, the “Sand Dollar,” sustains the underwater theme with tension-hung shelving displays that create the illusion of the merchandise suspended in water. Glowing jellyfish light fixtures bedeck a lime green ceiling and reflect the sparkling pale blue and yellow floor. Ocean life is present everywhere – in images behind and on the cashwrap and in the large sea creature seats where children can read, draw or interact with other toys.
Client: The Paradies Shops, Atlanta
Design: TVS Interiors, Inc., Atlanta – Stephanie Belcher, associate principal; Steve Clem, project designer; Paula Carr, project designer; Dana Carter, project designer
Tonja Adair, project architect; Dan Sweeney, architect; Stephen Wells, project manager
Outside Design Consultants: Bliss Fasman, New York (lighting)
Architect: Thompson, Ventulett, Stainback and Associates, Atlanta
General Contractor: Brasfield & Gorrie, Kennesaw, Ga.
Fixtures: ALU, New York
Flooring: U.S. Mosaic Tile Co., Norcross, Ga.
Lighting: Juno Lighting Group, Des Plaines, Ill.
Louis Poulsen Lighting, Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.
Lithonia Lighting, Conyers, Ga.
Color Kinetics, Boston
Millwork/Fixtures: Raydeo Enterprises, Ball Ground, Ga.
Signage/Graphics: Paradies, Atlanta
Wallcoverings/Materials: Goodman Decorating Co. Inc., Atlanta
Ceramic Technics Ltd., Atlanta
Zolatone Interior Finishes, Los Angeles
Photography: Brian Gassel, Atlanta