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For the new shop of Burrioptik at the Bellevue in Zurich, nimmrichter architects created a noble, clear space in which those objects play the main role for which you came for: The more than 600 issued glasses.

Light transparency, minimal material and color choice and barely visible glass shelves on which the wide range of eyewear is presented as if floating: Activity in the Limmat Quay / corner Torgasse has immediate appeal to withdrawing elegance, simultaneously with noble restraint. In fact, it was the first task for the architect Rolf Nimmrichter to generously open the formerly gloomy space and to reorganize. The ceiling height was raised to 3, 10 meters, the shop windows freed and given back their full height for an open view. The original facade architecture is visible again. Instead of the old narrow entrance door now a soundless sliding door in glass opens to the shop.

Glass is in any case one of the most important materials of this modification. On the one hand it is a nice reference to the material, the Opticians work with daily. On the other hand, it reaches the desired lightness of the interior. Walls at the back and side of the 55 m2 space consist almost continuous and room-high of backlit, frosted glass. Over their entire length one above the other ten glass shelves are mounted. This yields 100 meter ribbon of glass just narrow enough for eyeglass frames lying thereon. Ingenious: For the attachment of glass edge on the glass surface a special invisible adhesive is used cured with UV irradiation. Rays that otherwise are banned through sun-glasses.

In the same way also the four mobile steles are made of which stand in front of the shop windows. The entire floor is cast with bright cement-based spatula covering giving the transparent elegance an earthy foundation. So to speak behind the scenes a refraction room for examination and measurement of the eyes and a small storage and staff kitchen find their place.

As a contrast the bright room is furnished with a few cubes in dark wood. It is the advisory elements, sometimes conceived as a poser table or cashier, sometimes supple-mented by easy chairs made of black molded plywood. The furniture appear as easily shifted stacked boxes, in noble veneer with dark oak, including mirrors, storage space, monitors or the checkout. Daring the operating areas cantilever far beyond the massive carcasses giving the pieces the appearance in space like sculptures. Actually, this new Opti-cian has indeed the attitude of a fashionable art gallery. Why not: Some of these glasses by classy, fashionable brands even act as modern art objects.

Text by Hansuli von Erlach
Photography by Bruno Helbling

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