As a one-man show, Bart Shaw Architect qualified—by the widest possible margin—to win the IIDA’s annual
Will Ching competition for commercial interiors by firms of five or fewer. Which isn’t to say that a sole practitioner doesn’t rely on many like-minded collaborators. Bart Shaw could never have realized this Fort Worth fashion boutique, Pax & Parker, without the help of a summer intern. Or take the fabricator for the display fixtures: A welding instructor at Tarrant County College, she happened to be the neighbor of a member of Shaw’s construction team.
The massive white-painted steel fixtures’ shape echoes the square outline around the boutique logo. That geometry repeats in paneling—the 8-inch squares, cut from plywood sheets of varying thicknesses, are arranged as a bas-relief to throw narrow shadows. In a yin/yang scenario of order versus chaos, Shaw then juxtaposed the straight lines and right angles with the tangle of 1,800 wire clothes hangers composing a screen. (He’d initially asked friends to donate used dry-cleaning hangers but ultimately paid $200 for new ones in pristine white.) He and his intern spent several days assembling the hangers into modules, secured with baling wire. Hanging the modules from aircraft cable took another couple of days. “For something really special, you have to will it to be done,” he notes. The screen now divides the sales floor of the 1,350-square-foot boutique from a sitting area outside the fitting rooms.
Project Intern: Patrick Kunkel.