Diapers, Cheetos, and laundry detergent are hardly the stuff of glamour. Hugh A. Boyd Architects, however, manages to elevate the quotidian supermarket shopping experience into something quite flavorful. The New Jersey–based architect’s design for a Landmark chain store in metropolitan Manila eschews straight-up-and-down aisles in favor of organically curved shelves that meander like the nearby Mangangate River. “With this arrangement, you always have beautiful displays ahead of you,” Boyd notes.
On weekends, he explains, extended families make grocery shopping an all-day affair. “So the store needs to serve up entertainment.” To deliver that, he peppered the market’s 108,000 square feet with exhibition-style cooking areas that bring to life the theater of preparing fresh food. To overcome the lack of daylight in the basement space, concealed LEDs wash the perimeter walls. “The scheme creates an aura of brightness and airiness, so you don’t feel the oppressiveness of the area just ending,” he says. “There’s a sense of mystery about what’s beyond.”
The perimeter is further layered with folded metal panels, striped glass, and mosaic tile portraying leafy botanicals. The cutout drop ceiling, too, is far from plain, laced with triangular metal panels. But it’s the produce that truly takes the spotlight—quite literally, courtesy of superfocused LEDs.
Due to the high volume of foot traffic and the concomitant abuse by shopping carts, Boyd selected fixtures and finishes for maximum durability. Floor tile is hardy porcelain, while display stands are protected by bumper bars in robust stainless steel.
Project Team: Amy H. Boyd; Joann Montero.