Amsterdam-based eyewear brand Ace & Tate is on a brick-and-mortar roll. At the end of last year, we reported on its re-designed flagship in the Dutch capital and future expansion plans across Europe. The facelift of the original Van Woustraat location was a symbol of the wildfire-like growth the company experienced in the three short years since it branched out from having an online-only shop. 

But that store – which nods to the city with decorative, neon-lit local phrases – was only one of the potently Instagrammable spaces that Ace & Tate had been hiding up its sleeves. The company also recently worked with Eindhoven-based designers OS & OOS to create a store in Groningen, right here at home in the Netherlands. It is one of four completed Ace & Tate stores that duo Sophie Mensen and Oskar Peet have worked on – the others are in Eindhoven, Den Bosch and Dublin.

For Frame 126 we talked with Mensen and Peet about their relationship with the company, just prior to the Groningen store’s opening. ‘Before Ace & Tate, we hadn’t done spatial design. The brand originally reached out to us because they wanted to use our Mono-Lights – then they realized we do a lot more,’ Peet said. ‘Every store has to be different,’ added Mensen.

And that you can see in Groningen, where OS & OOS had a lot of playing space to experiment – 112 sq-m, to be exact. In the past, the city was considered a major trade centre for grain, and the studio wanted to refer to that history with the interiors. For inspiration, they looked to Korenbeurs van Groningen, a 19th-century neoclassical building that once housed a commodity market. They then brought that into the store by creating wall installations from the materials of the traditional roofing method of thatching – namely, water reed that was locally sourced.

The most impressive part? That they were able to make the unexpected material look sleek and modern by manipulating it to work in line with the contemporary features Ace & Tate fans would come to expect from the brand.