The design brief was to create a series of bespoke counters and kiosks merchandising a wide variety of high quality food offers for Food Inc, new high class food retail brand. The challenge was to achieve a flexible design language capable of accommodating a disparate set of spatial, technical and merchandising requirements for each offer, whilst maintaining a consistent, strong brand image. Moreover, the new unitry had to provide a contemporary, fresh and unified appearance appropriate to Food Inc’s innovative retail offer, whilst sitting harmoniously within the Grade II listed atria spaces.
A desire for simple forms and materials that would act as an elegant but subtle backdrop to the product led to the development of a series of individual block volumes, surmounted by a continuous ‘ribbon’ element, visually tying each unit together along the length of the Whiteleys mall spaces. A series of common datum levels for the height of base plinths, counter blocks, ‘ribbon’ and shelving ensure that design continuity is reinforced across every unit. A guiding principle for material selection for Food Inc. was that the unitry finishes should not overwhelm the product, but rather display it to maximum effect.
A strictly limited palette of material finishes with muted colours also fulfils a number of technical criteria: robustness, fire performance and hygiene. Satin polished stainless steel, white DuPont ‘Corian’ solid surface material, with low iron glass provided an elegant solution to these requirements.