02 Nov 2011 • New York City
When luxury chocolate brand Xocolatti invited De-Spec to design its first flagship store in New York’s trendy SoHo neighbourhood, the chocolatier’s request was based on the studio’s previous project for a jewellery shop.
‘We knew from the onset that they perceived their chocolates as pieces of jewellery,’ says Farnaz Mansuri of De-Spec. The end result is a space that expresses the brand’s image of opulent luxury, created in part through the display of Xocolatti’s exquisite handmade treats as precious gems.
At first glance, what draws the attention is the green and brown pattern that covers the walls. De-Spec realized the gridded surface by juxtaposing chocolate boxes that function as both storage and display. The pattern mutates throughout the day, constantly changing as products are sold and, says Mansuri, generating an ‘animated narrative for the presentation of the store’.
Her strategy maximizes the 14-sq-m space while providing Xocolatti with storage, display and retail functions. Chocolates are arranged atop projecting light boxes designed by De-Spec in collaboration with Exit Creative Company.
The whole store functions as a showcase to attract passing trade. In the words of Mansuri: ‘The interaction with client and street is primal to the project.’
Photos courtesy Frank Oudeman.