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Interior, Shop, Retail


Project information

The Toronto PATH retail location of an iconic, international chocolateur was completed in 2013. Tasked with designing a striking interior to showcase the retailer’s premium chocolate offering in a prominent, high-traffic downtown location, the designer wanted to try something new with the lighting design to set this flagship location apart.

Previous locations have used track lighting with a row of signature pendants hanging above the cash area. Veering away from brand standards, the lighting design, which was an integral part of the interior design, features premier MINIGRID IN TRIMLESS REO fixtures. The brand standard pendants were relocated to the front entry of the store and hung above a prominent, round display table to create more of a wow factor for passers-by at the store entrance.

At previous locations, the brand has had issues with their premium red packaging showing up orange under the existing lighting. For this reason, they were receptive to the alternative proposed by the design team, which used bulbs with a higher CRI Index, allowing for a truer representation of the product.

LED fixtures were a natural choice for this project, given the sensitivity of the product to heat. The retail location is open 8-9 hours per day, which made LED a good choice from a power consumption and maintenance standpoint as well. Using well-engineered LEDs on a timer, with a life span of 50,000+ hours, allows for roughly 15-17 years of maintenance free illumination.

The underground location of this flagship store presented a number of challenges from a lighting standpoint. Low ceilings, limited space, a parking lot below the store and the presence of mechanical systems above, all had to be accounted for. The lighting designers worked closely with mechanical engineers to ensure there were no conflicts on the lighting layouts. In the bar area, fixtures had to be adjusted mid-way through the project due to the complex ceiling structure. A recessed light was proposed but ultimately replaced with a surface mount.

From a design standpoint, the lighting complements the goal of creating a clean, minimalist interior. A deviation from the typical brand store, the client was pleased with the elevated environment created, the way in which the lighting design contributes to telling the story of the premium product it accentuates and the beautiful interior finishes it highlights. Making use of the trimless fixtures allows the lighting to take a back seat to the product offering, creating a stunning visual effect and maintaining a clean, uncluttered ceiling.

The project budget met the expectations of the client and to-date they have been pleased with the increase in sales that the newly designed flagship location has benefitted from.

Designed By: II BY IV DESIGN
Photography By: David Whittaker

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