NEW OPTICIANS, LEADENHALL MARKET, LONDON

Architect : John Simpson Architects Limited Completion date : Jan 1999
Size : 250 to 499 sqm Contract value : £100,000 - £499,999
Commercial experience : Government, Health, Industrial, Conservation, Retail
Services : Interior Design, FFE (Furniture, Fixtures & Equipment)

Project photos. Click on an image to enlarge.

Photo of NEW OPTICIANS, LEADENHALL MARKET, LONDON
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About this project

The design involved consulting rooms, a workshop and retail space for an established opthalmic optician in the City of London. In consideration of the shop's location in the City of London a dark mahogany was chosen for the joinery in reference to the panelled interiors of the local livery halls and City churches. The design of the cabinetwork was influenced by neo classical furniture of Percier and Fontaine. The main space of the shop is flanked on either side by a sequence of architectural display cases terminated by small glazed pavilions, reminiscent of Giles Gilbert Scott’s telephone kiosks. These cases are capped by an entablature carried not by conventional columns but by a series of paired herms that also support the shelves on which spectacles are displayed. The pairs of herms are placed back to back perpendicularly to the shelves so that one faces into the shop and the other faces out through the window. At intervals there are mirrors framed by slender colonnettes. At the rear of the shop, spanning its full width, is a mahogany serving counter flanked at either end by large inverted consoles. Behind this rises a large, freestanding rusticated arch with a cornice. The double height space of the shop conceals, within the upper portion of the arch, a mezzanine floor containing a small office for accounts and record storage. Below, within the deep arch itself there are rows of small drawers following the pattern of rustication. The overall result of designing all the disparate parts of the brief as freestanding architectural elements rather than the conventional solution of dividing up the space with partitions, is that it remains a light and spacious environment where the full height of the interior can be appreciated.

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