Eye Opening Design: Sydney Retail Store by Christopher Polly Architect

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This flagship Sydney store of Eye Opener, designed by Christopher Polly, demonstrates how even a limited space can pack a high-energy retail “punch.” The high-end character of the other stores on Castlereagh Street dictates the image and quality this store needs to show — and it does, in a pop of color that immediately draws the eye. Display shelves are oval-shaped and white resin, indirectly lit to display glasses and accessories with a clean, uncluttered, and unobtrusive background. The curves continue, seeming to float around the glass-paneled storefront; their supports are white columns, each with integrated concealed lighting that highlights the optical products on display. Storage for supplies, sunglasses, and optical products of various kinds (cleaning and contact lens solutions, wipes, cases, etc.) find their niches in more white curved units, a careful match of character and hue.

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The design incorporates select monochromatic palettes: black rubber flooring, white polyurethane finishes on desks and workbenches. Paired with these are multiple reflective surfaces: polished display shelves and, of course, necessary mirrors. The combination of glass storefront, and shine within, reinforces a perception of efficiency, clarity, and focus — the attributes you want from an eye-care store. The “pop” of multicolored stripes delineates a door that leads to vision testing rooms; in a limited way, it expresses the visible spectrum as refracted through a prism. Toward the paler end of that “spectrum” wall, we find a technical work area — close to the examination area and “lab,” a complement of the science and clinical details at the heart of the optician’s trade. A clean, compact, and easy-to-use layout: that’s the product of “eye-opening” design from Christopher Polly.

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