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Culligan — The Water Store

San Diego, CA

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Moving away from the door-to-door “Culligan Man,” the Northbrook, Ill.-based Culligan International Co. decided to soften its sales approach and let the customer come to the company to buy water filtration systems. Droese Architecture Inc., Dallas, designed the San Diego location of Culligan –The Water Store.

The new retail concept invites people to learn about water filtration and make informed water purchasing decisions. Customers can also bring in their own water samples for on-site analysis. Previous Culligan store designs favored an ultra-clean, stainless-steel look. But Droese Architecture didn't want a sterile “lab” environment. They opted for large lifestyle images, bluish “hogs hair” carpeting, and fixtures comprised of plastic laminate with clear-coated wood maple trim, adding warmth to the cool palette. The blue-and-white motif continues on a large fixture in back of the store that dispenses filtered drinking water. A Scotchprint® water graphic is applied to the top face of the fixture, and large white letters read, “Culligan, water for life.” The effect is more tranquil than “Hey, Culligan Man!”

Design: Droese Architecture Inc., Dallas – David Droese, principal-in-charge Graphic Design: Ambrosi & Associates, Chicago – Michael Wildman, design director Contractor: Commercial Interiors of America, Santa Fe, Texas Suppliers: Imperial Mill & Fixtures, Corpus Christi, Texas (fixturing); Interface Flooring Systems Inc., La Grange, Ga. (flooring); Andrés Imaging & Graphics, Chicago (graphics); Zumtobel Staff Lighting, Highland, N.Y. (lighting) Photography: Paul Doughty, Chicago

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