Subject: Architectural Wall Panels
Year of realization: 2008
The vanguard Canadian home goods designer opened a retail store after 27 years of selling its distinctive-looking wares through other outlets. Part architectural statement, part showroom-cum-test lab for new design ideas, the Toronto flagship aims to do for Umbra what retail stores did for top consumer brands such as Nike and Apple after they opened up highly individualized stores aimed at extending their business and their brands.
While Umbra has blossomed into an industry leader with distribution in 75 countries and annual sales exceeding $150 Million, only a fraction of its vast product selection is on display at most retailers. That changes with the opening of the first store in Toronto, an eye popping architectural marvel sheathed on all sides by 30-foot high columns of bright pink plastic. The bright pink plastic was manufactured from Polycarbonate resin and processed into semi-finished shape by Plastifab Industries and then fabricated and installed by AL Plastics, Toronto. Polycarbonate is renowned for its toughness, color fastness and unique colorability. Black lit for the night exposure, the 30-foot panels provide a strong visual identity for Umbra’s first retail store.
Design/Concept: Kohn Shnier Architects
Installation: AL Plastics