by Pallavi MehraJun 04, 2022
Driven by a philosophy of crafting breathing, sculptural spaces, Baranowitz & Goldberg Architects choreographed sequenced wings clothed in solid colours inside Kaza showroom, located just outside the city centre in Tel Aviv, Israel. Designed to display the latest collections of Kaza furniture pieces, a leading chain of designer furniture with stores throughout the Middle Eastern country, the showroom is where “life, theatre, and commerce engage in an architectural dance of space and colour; a living manifestation of distinct scenes, illustrating settings within the physicality of the changing décor,” shares the Israeli firm led by architects and designers, Sigal Baranowitz and Irene Goldberg.
Almost maze-like, the retail design draws heavily from Luis Barragán’s bold use of colour, and Andrea Palladio's strong perspectives at Olympic Theater (Teatro Olimpico) in Vicenza, Italy. Baranowitz & Goldberg envisioned a setting with geometric shapes laced with custom-designed, solid and vibrant colour palettes that would become a backdrop for the furniture, and stand out as a work of art itself. The theatrical analogy for the showroom is encapsulated within an elongated rectangle with a long-range echo, forming different perspectives and continuous lines of visibility and rhythmic views.
A range of coloured screens with planned niches and apertures separate and decorate the 1,000 sqm interior into a vertical sequence of wings across the showroom, created as geometric masses made of smaller perpendicular sections; the openings are used to pass through or distinguish each area in a sea of binary colours. “The ceilings too were designed with protrusions that define yet another space on the horizontal dimension. The sculpted partitions and their sub-partitions create dynamic movement and tension as they float toward and away from one another, producing an ever-changing landscape of quadrants. The passage of partitions created two bolder perspective axes that cross one another at the heart of the space,” explains the Israeli duo.
Unique interactions of playful and solid blue, red, yellow, orange and pastels, that the architects created and mixed themselves, are used to form a distinct, inviting and refreshing visual retail experience, an intended and welcome difference from the downplayed minimalism that has been dominating architecture and interior trends lately. These colours, as is evident, are the protagonist of the space, breathing life into the prepared partitions and spaces.
These hand-picked shades were chosen to create both, gradual evolution and theatrical contrasts using opposite colour combinations. The hollowed-out openings in the wings make the other shade visible and help guide a visitor through the space, creating an unawareness of how big and straightforward the showroom actually is. “This colour play occurs alongside the crossings of perspectives and the peeping that the partitions offer to the upcoming spaces, teasing the visitor into moving inside and exploring the next section,” say Baranowitz and Goldberg, who established their practice in 2017.
Shaping a distinct experience, one perspective leads from the showroom’s main entrance to the staircase, onto the gallery that sits deep in the back, providing a dramatic, sweeping gaze that invites one to walk in and follow it to the second floor. The next perspective axis begins at the ground floor in the café, overlooking the space’s length from the other side, while providing easier orientation into the smaller enclosures. “Visitors to the upper floor benefit from a discovery experience augmented by the additional layer of the area behind the scenes. Watching from above the partitions' tops, the lighting, and other overhanging elements expose the inner workings of the “theatre” and the beauty of the entire space,” they explain.
What’s more interesting about the interior design is that it stands on its own – the space is independent of the chosen display items and works and can easily transition into a backdrop for a music video or a model runway, and leave a lasting impression.
The studio’s projects always strive to adhere to strict-yet-poetic principles of proportion, and a true integration between conceptual thought and functionalism, which can be seen in their latest design as well. “Our process is deeply rooted in intuition and emotion, a playful balance between art and design. The integration of the two creates a fruitful ground for challenging the norm and asking many questions before we provide any answers. But however artful the interpretation might be, it must be grounded in good solid functionalism,” conclude Baranowitz & Goldberg.
Name: Kaza Israel Showroom
Location: Tel Aviv, Israel
Area: 1,000 sqm
Year of completion: 2021
Architect: Baranowitz & Goldberg
Managing Architect: Ayelet Levit for Baranowitz & Goldberg
Lighting Design: Orly Avron Alkabes