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Architecture

El Departamento designs a PJ Lobster eyewear store as a challenge to the eye

From theories about scales of the universe to the human eye – come step inside this immersive shop steeped in refreshing hues of green

An immersive experience intriguingly designed to challenge the eye – Architecture and Interior Design Studio El Departamento envelops the PJ Lobster eyewear store in Barcelona entirely in green. 

“The human eye has an ability to distinguish more different shades of green than any other color – that’s because, deep inside us, we’re still hunters from the prehistoric era. So that’s what we wanted to aim for here, not to hunt anything but to recover the challenging visual exercise of exploring a wide range of greens!” shares El Departamento.

El Departamento x PJ Lobster
El Departamento x PJ Lobster eyewear store

With slight variations in tone and texture differentiating surfaces, this monochrome shop nestled in the El Born district features floors, walls and stucco ceilings covered in beautiful tranquil hues of seafoam green.

Creating an interior design effortlessly brimming with personality and character in just 40 square meters, “we found inspiration for this innovative space in the short documentary ‘Powers of Ten’ by Charles and Ray Eames which explores the scales of the universe!” they add.

In it matter is perceived in its different scales through jumps from macro to micro in multiples of ten, finding patterns, similarities and plots that repeat at the extremes – from the zoom out of the Milky Way to the atomic zoom in. 

This treatment of matter – playing with scale and its definition – with the distances from which one looks at it and its essence, influenced the design.

It informed El Departamento’s study of different textures within the store from macro to micro – from the rough textured plaster that’s applied to the wall by hand to achieve the right level of thickness to the small-grained velvety micro-cement on the floor. 

“We wanted to get to the last step just before a texture becomes a topography, it was done manually, carefully and step by step to achieve the perfect state!” explains the studio. 

El Departamento x PJ Lobster
El Departamento x PJ Lobster eyewear store

Additionally, stainless steel is another key player utilized to craft banks of display shelving that frame each pair of glasses – with the soft sheen of the metal forming a striking contrast with the deliberately blobby texture of the walls behind.

Another textural juxtaposition is provided by the large, capsule-like counter at the heart of the PJ Lobster eyewear store with its high-shine gloss finish and mirrored top.

El Departamento x PJ Lobster
El Departamento x PJ Lobster eyewear store

Delineated by a shiny pleather curtain and a softer carpeted floor – further back in the store is an area dedicated to visual examinations, a vibrant space that seamlessly swings between the soft and the hard, the rough and the velvety.

Perfectly encapsulating the evolution of the brand and its products – “We tried to showcase the organic evolution of PJ Lobster eyewear by giving this shop a more technical and precise atmosphere, where the wide range of textures speaks of the precision levels of the products!” El Departamento concludes. 

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