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“It’s when I sleep that I can see clearly”, the poet said. However, all of us want to see clearly also when we are awake. When we receive a commission to redesign an optic centre, we imagine a clear, bright, intelligent and rational space. We leave out any confusion or ambiguity, being conscious of the functions that are to be developed through the activity that we undertake.

We set off from the existing store, with generous windows framed with natural wood. We do not intend to start from the scratch: we believe in the value of a well performed job and so we adopt the existing frames as if they were our own. Based on the frames made of 7×7 cm wood strips, we make up a 3D structure as a kind of scaffolding that joins the strips laterally and duplicates the mesh of the facade inside the shop. This way we generate a structure with a porch, or an atrium, which embraces the inner door in the centre, the display windows at each side, and structural pillars or elements of installations in the boxes formed between the empty spaces.

Just behind the atrium we find the customer service space and the shop, but also the workshop: one of the key points of our project. From the customer study that we carried out before starting the project, we understood that in this optic shop the workshop should not be a back shop as it used to be. That is why, just like in a restaurant with an open kitchen, we have made it participate in the central space, just filtered by a glass display of the major glasses in the optic shop. The closed rooms – the optician’s consulting room, the office, the storage and the service rooms – are placed like a tail, which the shop has at its left rear part. They help us make its shape more regular and absorb the level loss that this space has.

The optical glass windows lit up or backlit by the distribution or the furnishings confer to the space a character of a gleaming cloud. Only the recovered wooden structure, which stretches out to the atrium, dares to break the purity of the dominating whiteness: it is a commercial space full of experience, knowledge and innovation, where it is not necessary to fall asleep in order to see clearly.

Architects: Arnau Vergés Tejero
Photographs: Marc Torra Ferre

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