The National Gallery of Canada has opened the doors to its new shop created by Lumsden. The newly redesigned and renamed Boutique is at the entrance to the National Gallery in Ottawa, the showcase of Canadian art and cultural heritage that attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors each year. The design team at Lumsden, based in London, is regarded as retail design experts for cultural destinations and visitor attractions. The National Gallery is Lumsden’s first project in Canada. Its founder, Callum Lumsden, said: “The building, designed by Moshe Safdie, is a stunning architectural and cultural landmark. So it has been a terrific challenge to create a store which reflects the architect’s vision and is a pleasure for visitors to explore.” The 306 square metres (3,300 square feet) retail design draws on the building’s use of repetitive shapes and strong lines, utilising slabs and concrete finishes plus plenty of textured timber to echo the wood’s presence throughout the National Gallery which opened in 1988.
White stained Canadian maple and black and white American oak are used, sometimes cut so the grain is on the diagonal as a playful visual element. The palette of concrete and timber is accented by the highlight red from the NGC logotype – the colour appearing in both obvious and more surprising and subtle locations. A standout element of the design is a long 10.5 metre display unit and combined jewellery counter and cash wrap desk, sitting on top of an internally illuminated base with vertical timber thins around the face. This design feature is repeated as visitors enter the store and and opposite the jewellery counter. The new Boutique design replaces the existing one entrance with two, to improve the visibility and sight lines into the shop, to visually draw visitors in.
The merchandising system is a bespoke design by Lumsden, specified for its versatility and adaptability. Wall units, shelving and complete furniture islands can be unclipped to be reconfigured as new product lines or exhibitions demand. Alongside an extensive choice of books, the shop also stocks a wide variety of prints and posters, jewellery, items for the home and toys for children. Many of the products are exclusive to the Boutique and inspired by the Gallery’s collections. Patrick Aubin, Chief, Boutique at the NGC, said: “The Boutique is not only a great museum store, it’s a great store for Ottawa and for all visitors to Canada’s capital. It is an important enhancement to the visitor experience and a vital revenue stream to enable ongoing investment in the National Gallery of Canada.
“Lumsden’s previous work for the British Museum in London and its current projects for MoMA in New York gave us great confidence and we are delighted with the Boutique and know our visitors will enjoy shopping with us in what will quickly become a retail destination in its own right.” Callum said: “The Boutique will be a must-see for visitors who come to experience the art. The shop and its products are also going to be a destination in their own right for the people of Ottawa. Whether looking for a gift for others or a treat for themselves, the Boutique will be a one-stop shop for everything from cards and gifts to jewellery, scarves and ties.” With 65,000 works of art in its collection, the National Gallery of Canada has permanent and temporary exhibitions which will inform the ongoing evolution of the Boutique’s product range.