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Project: VALMONT GALERIE GASTRONOMIQUE, BROSSARD, QUEBEC, CANADA

Featured member:

GH+A design

Size: 18,900 sf

Completion: April 2015

Photography: Yves Lefebvre

A CHIC BLACK AND WHITE BACKDROP, GOURMET SHOP-IN-SHOPS, AND A CHECKOUT AREA EMULATING A HOTEL CONCIERGE DESK are among the elements in this "food is fashion" principle. By putting cuisine on the catwalk, so to speak, this store turns aisles into sleek runways that project an upscale urban appeal. Using highly reflective surfaces — an aesthetic often found in high-end apparel stores — also expresses an elegantly inviting couture feel.

The brand's color palette of black and white, with turquoise as an accent, creates a strong statement—particularly on the main facade, where it ensures visibility from roadways. a black aluminum frame of the main entrance provides a striking backdrop to the white illuminated sign, alluding to the modern elegance inside. A backlit, oversized turquoise "V" against a black brick wall on the left portion of the building adds a refined touch.

Materials and finishes evoke an upscale aesthetic, yet were within mid-range price points. The most luxurious-looking materials benefit from the best exposure in prime in-store locations. Imitation marble, for example, sets the tone on a wall at the front of the store and on the cash desk. Glossy/matte black ceramic tiles on the floor and ceiling at the entrance make a strong statement. High-quality porcelain tiles simulating travertine cover the entire floor surface of the store.

Meetings with the six independent local food purveyors created an understanding of each one's brand identity and image, allowing the vendors to express their individuality. Colors and materials representing the Valmont brand were integrated into the design of each shop at different levels, resulting in a harmonious assimilation of the shops-in-shop within the greater store context. Large-scale signage identifies each department in contrasting colors. Differing ceiling heights in distinctive black and white delineate each department.

Other features are open public viewing in many of the food preparation areas. A discovery zone, a slice and dice section, and a concierge station reinforce the notion of personalized service. All lights are LED; photometric studies ensured that the effect wouldn't be too cool or blue. Decorative lighting includes an eye-catching fixture in the fish shop comprising over 620 individual bone china porcelain fish.