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Established in 1953, Peninsula Optical, a long standing presence in downtown Palo Alto, was ripe for a refurbishment. Framestudio was tasked with not only updating the design of the space, but also worked with the clients to rethink the customer experience.

The new space, next door to the original space, was narrow in plan with lofty ceilings. A playful overhead lighting plan composed of ball pendants serves to create the illusion of a lower ceiling, while giving a nod to the midcentury origins of the store. The acoustics of the space were also a consideration. Carpet tiles were applied to the walls, acting as a sound damper in the space.

With back of house functions hidden behind a blind door, the sales space was divided into three zones: display and dispensing, lounge area, and a high end display area in the rear. The design incorporates a limited palette of materials: whitewashed oak, matte white corian, and grey felt tiles which clad the walls behind the iconic shelving system designed by Dieter Rams.

Functionality within the space was a high priority of the clients. The central table accommodates seasonal displays with its glass topped display drawer. Storage for optometric equipment is stored in drawers built into the table, allowing clients to be served in more informal manner from the stools. At the end of the table are the point of sale functions, which occupy a central location within the store. The displays in the rear of the store store are recessed into oak clad walls, providing security with a radio frequency locking system. The combination display case, dispensing table provides a private, more traditional dispensing experience.

Designed by Chad DeWitt, Creative Director / Framestudio
Photography by Drew Kelly

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