Shinola is a second-year studio retail project for American luxury goods retailer Shinola, in Detroit, Michigan. Founded in 2011 the company manufactures watches, bicycles, and leather goods. The Shinola brand philosophy aims to expose “the beauty of industry” to its customers by selling American-made products of superior quality, designed for a longer life cycle. Adweek wrote, they have developed a “clean, functional and authentically American aesthetic that manages to feel both classic and modern at the same time.”
Looking at how Shinola could evolve as the climate crisis intensifies, the concept explores the idea of time as it relates to the retail experience. Materially and aesthetically, the concept borrows from early modern architecture’s vision of the future. The long linear 3000 sq. ft. space is divided by horizontal beams that create five program sections; a storefront cafe, retail display space, experiential bike installation, bicycle and leather goods repair shop, and additional display and wait space at the secondary rear entry. The program is delivered along an 88-foot millwork wall whose craftsmanship expresses the importance of well-made goods. Through this spatial structure, the intent is to slow down the purchasing process so that the customer is more deliberate about what they buy. As they circulate, they understand how products are intended for use, and how they can be maintained and repaired in the long run. Outside the building, circular windows along the east side of the store tell this story in round vignettes.
102 Bloor St West, Toronto, Ontario