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Aleksandra Matusiak - "Gravity. Design of a space with an offer for mountain expedition enthusiasts".

Dobrawa Bies
18 of November '22
Technical data
Type: undergraduate thesis
Year of defense: 2021
Name: "Gravity. Design of a space with an offer for mountain expedition enthusiasts".
Author: Aleksandra Matusiak
University: Faculty of Interior Design and Scenography at the Magdalena Abakanowicz University of Arts in Poznan.

Maciej Basalygo, Ph.

Work submitted for the competition
"Best Interior Diploma 2021/2023".

The design of the store is a kind of architectural and display experiment. I analyzed the mountain equipment stores I know and came to the conclusion that most of them are visually chaotic, and an excess of colorful equipment causes confusion in the customer. I decided to take a risk and create an interior in which this assortment will be hidden. Hiding it will prevent visual evaluation in the first place, and draw attention to the quality of the product, attract professionals.

I assumed that we should be assisted in our decision by an advisor who will be an expert in the field and will professionally select equipment in accordance with our requirements. To make it possible to try out the products, I proposed a test track and a small climbing rock, which will make it possible to test, for example, shoes in different terrain conditions.

przestrzeń nawiązuje do zjawiska erozji skał

The space refers to the phenomenon of rock erosion

© Aleksandra Matusiak

I placed most of the sales area and the aforementioned track in the main hall of the premises, in close proximity to the entrances. Inspired by the disintegration of rocks under the influence of erosion, I created a spatial dominant of the interior. It consists of several objects with geometric divisions connected by a uniform structure forming substitutes for a platform and ceiling.

Each of the forms has a function. Several are used for storage, one as a climbing rock, and another as part of a track with a ramp of varying textures. In the outer parts of the solids, located in the rear dominant zone, I placed two fitting rooms.

Projekt sklepu Grawitacja, forma

Gravity store design, form

© Aleksandra Matusiak

The name of the store - "Gravity" - inspired me to visually lift, massive forms and, as it were, "suspend" them above the floor. Thanks to this, I was able to distinguish two spaces: the one on the platform was to refer to the mountains, and the rest of the premises, more austere, referred to the architecture of the city, remaining the communication context of the interior. The platform is not the only rock-inspired surface in this project. Behind the stairs are additional forms that were intended to continue the erosive narrative.

Wnętrze sklepu Grawitacja Artykuły są schowane w bryle

The author proposed a test track and a small climbing rock

© Aleksandra Matusiak

On the first floor we can find a counter arranged in them, and on the mezzanine, as a stylistic continuation, access to a smaller assortment of commercial offerings. I was inspired to create this kind of display by the mountain backpack, or more precisely, the way things are stored in it. The bottom of the backpack is where the least frequently pulled out, largest items are placed. Such a bottom of the backpack in my design is the first floor, and the top is where the most frequently used, small items are placed. According to the above method, I planned the divisions of the forms, which are arranged from the largest to the smallest towards the top and correspond in part to the size of the pull-out drawers.

Projekt sklepu Grawitacja, rzuty i przekroje

Gravity store design, plans and sections

© Aleksandra Matusiak

Divisions are also found on the vault and the platform of the main form, making this area a unity. In an effort to use as much storage space as possible, I gave the floor this function as well. Sections of it slide out, exposing shoes, for example, and additionally the protruding part can serve as a seat, making it easier for the customer to try on.
An important step in the project was to extend the mezzanine above the main hall. I decided to add it for functional reasons, to get access to the higher parts of the molds, which also store the assortment, I was also interested in creating something close to a viewing terrace, showing all this space from a height, so customers would get a better sense of the scale of the premises.

schody wykonane są z siatki stalowej, a część powierzchni z cortenu

The staircase is made of steel mesh and part of the surface is made of corten

© Aleksandra Matusiak

An important element in the interior, which helps shape its atmosphere, is the staircase made of openwork sheet metal and steel sections located in the center of the premises. It is an optical contrast in this relatively massive interior. The motif of the steel mesh appears repeatedly in the space. For example, it serves as a protection against falling out of the mezzanine. The use of the mesh is an inspiration for the safety netting against landslide of rock fragments, which can be found on extreme mountain trails.

Aleksandra MATUSIAK

Illustrations: © Author

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