Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.
Wein & Wahrheit in Sulzbach, Germany by Ippolito Fleitz Group GmbH
June 8th, 2012 by Sumit Singhal
Article source: Ippolito Fleitz Group GmbH
The Weinkellerei Höchst has opened a second wine shop in the new extension of the Main-Taunus Centre. The new store boasts a floor space of 80 m². The task was to present its range of over 600 different wines and spirits, delicatessen items and gifts within this compact space. The wide range of wines and the retailer’s extensive wine knowledge are highlighted here in a sensual setting intended to animate passers-by to purchase. Therefore the first impression from the outside is one of undiluted wine expertise. Resembling a library of learned tomes, wine bottles fill the store from floor to ceiling along all three interior walls. A mirrored ceiling band running around the edges of the space further multiplies this effect in the vertical. Within the mirrored ceiling a canopy of glass vessels is suspended, forming a strong key visual. The light breaks in them like candlelight reflected through a glass, giving this otherwise modern setting the atmosphere of a wine cellar and conjuring up associations of epicurean indulgence.
The shop façade has been drawn into the space to optimise the available area. The doors thus open outwards so as not to block browsing space within. The tapering, funnel-shaped entrance also creates a suction effect to draw the shopper into the space. Both windows and doors are framed in black. One of the two existing pillar supports has been boxed in black and integrated into the entrance area. The name and logo of the wine shop are illuminated in white on the pillar and across the lintel, giving the façade an exclusive feel.
The two long walls are completely encased in shelving units made from white lacquered and brushed oak that curve to meet the end wall. The 501 separate compartments contained in these units are strictly organised to create a homogenous fin-like structure, broken only by square shelving elements inset in a fresh green. At the end wall stands another shelving unit with an additional 98 compartments for sparkling wines. These sit behind a continuous glass front, which is backlit to create a visual focal point at the end of the room. This unit is flanked by two chalk boards that are used to advertise special offers. A concealed area behind contains refrigerators and another shelving unit that holds high-end sparkling wines and champagnes.
The centre of the room is formed by a group consisting of a checkout counter, an elevated table for wine tasting and a packaging station. Between this grouping and the right-hand wall stand three additional presentation units. Two auxiliary vertical shelving units are fitted to a pillar. All the fittings have been given clear and sculpted forms. Their cubic geometry emphasises the material interplay of white laminate and bleached oak. All the individual store fittings are contained within a soft-cornered rectangle of epoxy resin-coated concrete executed in the floor, which stretches out a tongue toward the entrance. The flooring outside this inner zone is made of rough oak floorboards.
The contrasting floor zones are reflected in the stunning ceiling design. Here a recessed rectangle of ceiling is fitted with hidden spotlights. Within this form hangs a canopy of 150 hand-blown glass vessels in four different shades. Two thirds of them are illuminated by LED lighting. The ceiling all around is mirrored, stretching the height of the space and multiplying the already large selection of wines on display.
Glass and oak are the dominant materials in the space, both chosen to reference the world of wine – wine bottles and wine glasses, oak casks and cork oak. Their use results is a sensual ambience that appeals directly to the epicurean shopper.
A new Corporate Identity was also developed to reflect the store design. The new name of the shop, ‘Wein & Wahrheit’ (Wine & Truth), underscores the expert advice on wine that you can expect to receive. The elegant typography and logo design address a class of customer, who places inordinate value on quality when making a purchase.
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