La référence des professionnels
des communications et du design

A fusion project

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When Montreal firm GHA shoppingscapes and the American MarcoRetail Group recently joined forces, one of their first collaborations, started four years ago, was the design of the Philadelphia store And1, the first in North America.

With offices in Montreal and Detroit, GHA has specialized for over 20 years in the development of commercial designs. Some of its main projects include the Carrefour Laval, the Les Ailes complex and the shopping mall Fairview Pointe-Claire.

While Marco focuses its projects in the U.S. and Italy, it too is specializes in the creation of commercial spaces, especially food courts.

And1, a specialty chain dealing in basketball equipment, is already well known in Europe and Asia. For its first store in North America, the company chose Philadelphia for its urban, streetwise character, its many street basketball teams and its proximity to the company headquarters.

In order to carve out a space in the neighbourhood, but looks as though the storehad always been there, the designers renovated an old industrial building. The ceiling's wooden framework was conserved and integrated into the design, while stairs were inserted in the back of the store, a nod to those leading up to typical Philadelphia homes where many youths congregate.

The GHA and Marco designers had many factors to keep in mind before deciding on an organization model for the space. Rightaway, it had to give the impression of being a sport shoe store that also sells clothes and not the inverse. But above all else, And1 customers had to subscribe to the lifestyle.

In terms of the design, the store is takes shape around an immense wall, the centrepiece of the space, which showcases dozens of shoe models. The light-woodfloor and the orange are reminiscent of basketball courts, while the benches remind us of those at the court's edge or in the change room.

The opening was accompanied by a huge marketing operation: each box of shoes sold contained a video cassette featuring famous American players. Mandated by the company, a basketball team is touring the country playing local teams under the theme: United Streets of America.

Translation by Jennifer Edwards

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