2003  |  Shoes at the Square  |  Chapel Hill, NC

Shoes at the Square is an 1,800-square-foot, mall-based retail shop specializing in the sale of fine Italian footwear and accessories. Relocated from its original downtown Chapel Hill location, the store is part of an ongoing revitalization of the University Place mall, intended to attract a diverse mix of high-end, specialty retail customers. Accordingly, the design for the shop emphasizes an elegant, modern character that places the retailer’s wares at the center of attention.

The store is located in a prominent intersection of the mall. Its outer enclosure is simply stated, with broad expanses of glass storefront, placed to ensure a strong visual connection between the mall and the shop’s interior displays. A fluid, serpentine wall serves as the principal backdrop for the display of shoes and accessories. The wall bisects the interior of the shop diagonally, creating a series of enclosed, private areas beyond, which serve as product storage and office space.

On the outer face of the serpentine partition, two rows of white marble display shelving appear to float just beyond the surface of the wall. The illusion is further enhanced by the use of overhead, recessed lamps which illuminate the display with an iridescent wash of sparkling light. Light globes of varying sizes and heights complete the illumination of the space.