Size: 7,500 s.f.
The design of Marc Laurent, a men’s and women’s fashion boutique on Bloor Street in Toronto, began as a collaboration between Bruce Kuwabara, Thomas Payne and the client and owner, Henry Bendayan. The initial project established basic design principles and an architectural language which was extended for subsequent phases. The overall design demonstrates how a retail business can expand while maintaining the quality of design and service in a dynamic market.
The Marc Laurent concept balances design with marketability, permanence with flexibility, and high-tech materials such as steel, aluminum, rubber, and glass with natural materials such as wood and stone. The interior planning maximizes the role of sales staff in the retail environment. Based on two types of vertical supports, the steel racking system was custom designed to allow for a range of combinations of shelves, hanging bars, and face-out displays. As merchandise is sold through each season, the system can be transformed to allow regrouping of the various collections.
Movement is based on a series of loops, bringing customers in contact with all areas of the store while allowing choice and diversity. An interconnecting stair acts as a pivotal hinge between the street-level spaces and the lower concourse level. Cash desks, display panels, display tables, screens, and aluminum canopies mark identifiable points in the circulation sequence through the store.
Withheld at client’s request
Bruce Kuwabara, Thomas Payne (partners-in-charge), Lexi Kolt-Wagner, Jill Greaves, Larry Chow, Jason King, Todd Macyk
Merber Corporation (mechanical and electrical), Mark Pickett Inc. (general contractor)
- 1991 Ontario Association of Architects Award of Excellence