Los Angeles-based Ahlem Eyewear enlisted the help of Shapeless Studio Architecture & Interiors to design their new retail space in New York City. The modern eyewear brand, which specializes in design-focused frames handmade in Paris, has moved into the flexible 500-square-foot space situated on Elizabeth Street in SoHo – a space that can easily morph into a showroom, gallery, or event space. Taking inspiration from the brand’s unique eyewear, particularly their craftsmanship, geometric forms, and use of sustainable materials, the designers created a space that welcomes visitors with a floating curved wall, custom millwork, and sculptural walnut doors inspired by the work of Isamu Noguchi.
The curved wall creates unobtrusive visual markers of the various zones in the shop, for product displays, consultations, an optician’s station, and an ever-evolving inspiration wall.
Close attention was paid to materials selected – solid walnut, aluminum, and several types of plaster – elevating the details to result in a dynamic yet grounded space.
All of the furniture was custom made to fit the shop with inspiration from Pierre Jeanneret, as well as the previously mentioned Noguchi. Paired with sculptural wooden stools, the tables rest upon aluminum legs that, in order to make, were hand drawn, scanned, and digitally traced to become playful forms.
The hand-carved walnut doors came about after Ahlem’s founder, Ahlem Manai-Platt, sketched the design on an airplane napkin.
Photos by Hagan Hinshaw.