Walk the Walk
Mark McMenamin -- Interior Design, 6/1/2009 12:00:00 AM
A meeting area's Arne Jacobsen chairs forFritz Hansen.
Calling itself a "nice little shoe company getting in touch with its inner hippie," Simple Shoes is the footwear giant Deckers's sustainability-minded offshoot. The soles of most shoes, for example, are made from recycled tires, inner tubes, and plastic bottles. So standards were high when Tony Donnelly, principal of the design and branding firm Visualworks, worked with Paul Bennett Architects to turn a tight 2,500-square-foot New York space into the brand's first to-the-trade showroom.
Niels Bendtsen's sofa forBensen in the lounge.
The designers maximized natural light and kept construction to a minimum by leaving the ceiling exposed and simply sandblasting the concrete floor. In the absence of interior display walls—the time-honored standard of shoe showrooms—visual-marketing specialist Liquid Reality fabricated freestanding units with shelves of reclaimed pine, mounts of raw steel, and a backing surfaced in white cotton canvas. Paint is low-VOC, lighting sensor-activated. Tables and workstations have tops of compressed recycled paper. In the kitchen, counters of recycled glass meet Energy Star—rated appliances.
The mounts as part of a shelving unit by Liquid Reality.
For a final touch, ad agency JWT screen-printed the brand's catchy slogans and graphics onto walls and columns. Kickin'.
Images courtesy of JWT.