KODE's test-market store becomes a hip hangout for its teenage customers.
Sheila Kim -- Interior Design, 11/1/2001 12:00:00 AM
Looking at the crowd of teens lounging around or spinning records inside, visitors probably would not realize that KODE is actually a mobile phone store—exactly the impression that the company intended. KODE, a cellular phone company aimed at the teen market, wanted to open a pilot store in Sacramento, California, but needed a smart design on a shoestring that would draw in the target audience. The company selected San Francisco-based O + a, a firm that had designed cost-efficient, cutting-edge spaces for numerous technology start-up companies.
"KODE's bug logo became an important aspect of the design scheme because the store was a big space for not too many products," says firm principal Verda Alexander, who implemented the bug to enliven areas devoid of furnishings or displays. Laser-cut vinyl logos were applied to the floor, as well as an acrylic screen that separates the sales corner from a lounge area. An oversized, upholstered couch welcomes shoppers and creates an extra-clubby feel when the store becomes a record-spinning classroom on Friday nights. Guests can also nestle in "pods," semipartitioned spaces with banquettes and wired computers for net-surfing and lounging in privacy. And those who are actually there to shop can find product displays in playful inflatable pillows or colorful units. KODE was completed in five months.