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01.30.2012
Open> Boutique
Openshop uses identical modules to create variety at Artsee's small eyeglasses art space.
Courtesy Openshop

Artsee
220 Murray Street
New York
Tel: 212.227.2400
Designer: Openshop

The retail level of the tower at 200 West Street in Lower Manhattan, also known as the global headquarters of Goldman Sachs, has a decidedly unstuffy new tenant: the eyewear store Artsee. With other locations in the West Village and Miami, the company is known for its emphasis on eyewear as unique art objects. New York-based Openshop, the designers behind the Miami location, took on the job to translate the brand’s dual identity as an eyeglass store and an art space.

The wide and shallow store was an unusual layout for a retail space but perfect for a miniature gallery. In fact, the designers wanted the space as a whole to be “a spectacle in and of itself,” according to Adam Hayes, an Openshop partner.

Inspired by the geoemtric shapes in Robert Motherwell’s “Spanish Elegy” series, Hayes and partner Mark Kroeckel marked the space with large rounded cutouts to hold mirrors and display the eyeglasses, flanked by the vertical strokes of the doors leading to exam rooms and storage. Custom millwork and furniture are minimal but dynamic, and an undulating ceiling is created from geometric light fixtures of reclaimed pine. “These were surprisingly economical to fabricate—each module is identical to the next, but the effect is achieved by shifting and rotating them around the grid,” said Hayes.

Cindy Yewon Chun