New York, NY | 1,100 sq ft. | 2006
Amaridian, a retail store and gallery space for South African art and artifacts, was designed with a reference to the textures of the African landscape as well as to the objects themselves. With a conservative budget, the goal was to make a memorable impression and establish the gallery as a unique place. EOA designed, fabricated and installed a dramatic stacked homosote wall that ultimately became the space defining element. The wall is thick and soft to the touch, inviting people to interact with it. It ultimately became not only the piece that shaped the space but also the identifying element that helped define Amaridian. The wall, with its rich texture inspired by the ruins of Zimbabwe, has carved openings to hold large artifacts. Behind it, a dark passage is revealed through the openings, inviting the observer to explore smaller pieces at a more intimate level. The façade, originally referencing more traditional architecture with stained wood columns and paneled doors, was approached in a surgical manner, excising what was there and inserting sleek and warm khaki ceramic panels to reflect the presence of a new kind of space and to invite people inside. The entire space is designed as a reflection of modern South Africa, a multi-textured and cultured country that is moving forward. Amaridian received a Merit Award in the Luxury Retail category from Interior Design's Best of Year Awards.