« ATA Toronto Fashion Boutiques
Bayview Village and 27 Bellair Street
Officially opened March 25th 2010
The design concept developed for the ATA boutiques originated with Andy’s request for a sort of “California closet” solution that would serve as a display for his new collections as well as for storage. This said, we quickly felt there was an opportunity to push forward the boutique concept to a whole other level and develop a unique solution. What really resonated with us was the notion of a salesperson opening and closing cabinets during the sales process. Herein we identified the foundation of our design concept. Each boutique consists of roughly 20 closets that are approximately 25” wide X 42” deep x 96” high (Bellair) or 120” high at Bayview. The cabinet faces have a return on each side measuring 6” wide. In turn, each of these returns are colored either black, white, or yellow – these colors being based on the ATA’s new identity. The 6” inch return allows for incremental offsetting between one cabinet and the next thereby revealing various vertical strips of white, black, and yellow, throughout the length of the boutique, and all of which are different in width. Basically, the vertical topography of the boutiques can be manipulated to create a particular feel and look. Beyond look and feel, the cabinets permit interesting merchandising solutions. For instance, the 10 first cabinets in the boutique can be pulled out 20” or even 40” and the last 10 left in their closed position. Thereby creating a clean division of space where the front half can potentially be reserved for the new collection while the second half is for items on sale only. We loved the idea of a boutique that is in constant flux – always changing and shifting. Never is it radically different from the previous day, or even previous hour, but it is always ever so slightly evolving; a kind of spontaneous predictability. This evolution is made possible by the very fact that the sale process and design of the boutique function in perfect harmony. One is not separate from the other. And the result is quite theatrical. Closets are being pulled opened, while other are pushed closed. It is an ever evolving choreography that complements the garments and just creates energy and magnetism that draws people into the boutique – or at least this is the objective.
Practically speaking, the boutiques have no back store as all the storage is contained within the closets. There is over 800 sq. ft. of storage in each boutique. This permits maximum space for product display and creates a deep and narrow space that draws people inwards to the back of the shop. It encourages shoppers to peruse the entire collection from front to back.
The amazing part of this project is that it was produced in record time without too many hitches. We we’re awarded the mandate on Dec 20th – or sometime around that time. The entire process, from design to completion, took 3 months. Construction alone required 6 weeks. This left little place for error. I believe we had 1-2 weeks to complete the design and another 2 weeks to produce the construction drawings. In addition, there we’re also the cabinets – design and engineering, sourcing of hardware, prototyping, manufacturing, etc. »
(Source: Jason Shatilla, SURFACE 3. Crédit photo: Jason Shatilla)